Why do we have children?
This dad contemplates the reasons why people have kids.
I had a great weekend with the kids. It rained most of the weekend, that soft steady downpour that leaves you little choice but to stock up on DVDs, whip up a hearty soup and allow the girls to bake your favourite chocolate cake. Hannah and Maddi were up for it, while in Prague, my little Czech princess had me in stitches with several WhatsApp videos showing off her new found proficiency in English. Sofia’s learning English in pre-school and was proud to be able to name all the body parts for me, hands, knees, heels etc. She ended one of the videos bursting into spontaneous laughter which had me crying with laughter every time I viewed it (which as any good parent knows was about 50 million times over the weekend.)
Sometimes I like to observe my children just being who they are. It’s then that you notice the qualities that make them unique, their strengths and weaknesses, fun and foibles. Hannah is rapidly entering that mystical world of teens, often going quiet and spending hours alone in her room, seemingly staring into thin air, interspersed with wacky outbursts of spontaneous song and dance routines.
She’s also become less tolerant of Maddi’s “irritating” 7-year-old behaviour.
Maddi’s showing a clear leaning towards the gymnastic ability of her mother and these days prefers doing cartwheels instead of walking. Her nimbleness came in very hand when I managed to lock us out of the house. She squeezed her body through the tiny window which is always left open for the cat. However, half way through she got stuck and panicked for a few seconds. She insisted that I pull her back out, but his proved a tad painful… then suddenly she stopped panicking and said “let go daddy, I can do it”. That decision right there, that split second and the manner in which she proclaimed her choice left me no doubt about the strength of character brewing inside that little body and mind.
Sofia’s accent is heavy and it took me about 3 takes to actually realise she was speaking English. The one thing my girls have in common is the ability to not take themselves too seriously, and to not shirk from challenges. I like to think they get that from me, and I know I got that from similarly seeing my mom in action when I was their age.
Sometimes, we wonder what it’s all about, why we’ve been slaying dragons all year and keeping various species of wolves from the door. I’ve had a really good year, but for me the only thing that really makes sense is that I have been given this amazing opportunity to shape and guide 3 young lives into adulthood.
However your children came into the world, planned or not, take some time off from the rat-race every once in a while and just watch them. See your strength and guidance take shape in their little hearts and minds. Forget about the drama of the concrete jungle for just long enough to recognise that they are your legacy in the making… and don’t stop doing what you do.
Do you remember the reasons you had kids?
Read more by Marlon Abrahams
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