Posted by David on October 08, 2001 at 18:29:04:
My nest is almost empty. I must redefine my life. And yet, I will always be a parent. I am not bound by that narrow analogue, though. Looking back on the years spent helping rear my children, I find my days were spent... consumed by the demands of my young. They were as small hatchlings within the shelter of our home, mouths agape, peeping... chirping for attention. Days were a blur of fulfilling their needs, filling their stomachs and minds.
My worth comes not from being the parent... They do not define me... but... I do define them. Their lives will be a mirror of the time spent under the wing of their mother and me. Their reactions to life’s events were first viewed... were played out before them by giants, the big people they knew as “mommy and daddy”. Actors we were, on this stage, playing our roles... our children, the audience. We were teacher and entertainer. We are the models they use... though many times highly modified to fit their individual needs or situation.
We were the arms that held them when, as infants, they could not raise their heads. We were their eyes when their world was but a blur. We were their voice when they had no language to speak of their needs; we translated their cries and tears. Our legs carried them. Our hands fed and changed and played catch. Shoulders became burp rags... and later bleachers that held them above the crowds to watch parades.
I cannot outgrow nor outrun that role. It is carved in the rock of their foundation. I am elder, example, mender of toys... and sometimes knight in shining armor, when… they peer up, or down, with wide-eyed gaze because I was “Dad”... I did “Dad-deeds”... I picked them up after scraped knees...
I guess I am defined by this role... or maybe blessed by having lived it; having muddled through, they in tow. When I see them in their young... and myself in their actions... I will know who I was... who I am.
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