Wednesday, June 02, 2010
No babies, thank you.
My wife and I had decided not to have any kids. So it was a not so pleasant surprise to us when we found out during our holidays in Provence that she was pregnant. How could I handle a baby? I was among those men who would actually step back on seeing a crawling toddler, or leave a restaurant immediately if there was a baby-like creature in it. Our apartment was a no-baby zone and my friends had to drop off their carry-on babies and have them checked in somewhere before they came in. I did, once, foolishly agreed to allow a toddler girl in our place for some six hours, and, consequently, I had a fever in the six days that followed. Seriously, I did not like kids. They scared me.
My wife was not fond of babies either, but she did not hate them. My serious allergy to babies nevertheless, we accepted the surprise and got prepared for changes, and things changed indeed...
A man (masculine includes feminine) is a dot on a piece of paper, or a plane. As the man grows older, he becomes a circle. With time, knowledge, experience and maybe some wisdom throwing in, the circle gets bigger and bigger, and bigger. One day it may evolve into a giant circle. Glaring and admirable as it may be, it remains a circle, spinning around its centre, its own self, on a plane.
Things get interesting when the circle meets another circle. Both will have to give up part of themselves. They are no longer separate circles - no more spinning around one's own self. The intersection brings along sparks, dynamics, provocations, good times, not so good times... Life is simply more interesting and fulfilling.
Still, the two circles are circles on a 2-D surface.
When a child is born, it's all different. One cannot live only with the rules of the 2-D world. It's a 3-D world. One does not choose the sex, personality, degree of intelligence, etc. of the child as one chooses the other circle. You take what finds you, come what may. There is nothing but rethinking and relearning and rethinking, struggling and letting go, accepting and compromising. Life is 10x(square) more rich and full. Never has the silly circle realised that watching another circle grow can be so satisfying. Never has it viewed things from so different an angle. And never has it experienced the unspeakable joy of looking into itself and watching its own centre, the very same centre it used to cling onto, diminishes.
I just love the world more with the coming of my girl.
Although I do sometimes get overwhelmed by the privilege of being your father, my dear girl, I promise that I'll keep my sanity, remain aloof and won't let what I aspire to be or long for becomes your burden. So profoundly enriched my life you already have, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that I can ask of you. This is your life, your world.