Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blinders

The father wheeled the stroller over to the table where his 7 year old son sat. The newborn slept peacefully, a picture of beauty and innocence.

“Do you like your new baby?” I asked the child.

“No,” he answered.

Okay then. Well. Hm. That certainly was not an expected response. I was for once speechless.

I sat down with my coffee and book occasionally looking over at the table to which the father had returned. The boy looked down as the father talked on his phone. The baby remained the same.

Blinders. What type of blinders do we wear? I’m learning to see things as they are, separate from my feelings and my own preconceived thoughts on the matter. For a very vocal woman, one with a few opinions, this has been not a struggle but an adventure. I cannot judge this young father. I was not different from him at that age. I’m sure the jealousies of my children were no different at times than those of this boy and his new baby brother. Blinders.

Does the awakening come for the father or for the child as he journeys through his life? An awakening certainly came for me watching this small scene at the next table. I believe that people-watching makes us better people. We learn to see ourselves and our families. Sometimes we wish we could change what we see. Lucky for us, we can change ourselves.

There is jealousy between my grandchildren. There was also between my own children. One child is older and can do more with more privileges. Older playmates once shared move on with the older child. The younger child does not have the experience to understand ‘why’. A baby takes mom and dad away from the older child. The needs are greater. On and on grows the list sometimes carrying over into adulthood.

I learned a lesson from that unfolding scene at Starbucks. The grandma in me wanted to walk over and talk to the man and his son. I wanted to remove the blinders.

“I know it’s hard,” I said to the boy before his father returned. “Some day that baby will be your best friend.” I can only hope.

1 comment:

  1. When I brought my youngest son home, my daughter who was two and a half at the time, asked a few hours later, "When is his Mummy coming to get him?" I replied, "I'm his Mummy." "No!", she said forcefully, "You're MY Mummy!".

    They had their issues growing-up, these two siblings, but now at 26 and 24, they have a deep, loving friendship. It took about 20 years to achieve, though. There were times that I despaired at it ever happening.

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