This morning I was in a meeting with a client when I asked her how many children she had, she told me that she has two boys aged 12 and 7 which then opened up a new topic of conversation. One thing led to another and before we knew it, we were both sitting pouring our sorrows and fears to one another, two people who a few minutes ago were mere strangers with a client / lawyer relationship, now best friends forever (well at least for them 45 minutes).
Children like anything in life go through changes. I’ve heard from friends and seen with nephews and nieces that the teen years are the craziest of the lot but, the years before them can be as important and future moulding.
Raees turned 7 in June and when people ask me “does it get any better?”, I reply honestly and tell them that I don’t know about it getting better but, it definitely has become different. How I now speak with him has become different, how he replies back to me has become different, what he wears and eats has become different, his physical capability and his emotional understanding, all different. Nothing has become easier or more difficult, its just… not the same.
But!!! yes there’s a but! But, society tells me that the different shouldn’t affect the person that he is and that I need to compare him to Mrs. Smith’s boy from school or Terry’s girl of the same age from two doors away who are now exactly the same as they were aged 2, 4 and 6, and in some cases my own other off spring. It forces me to put expectations on him which more than often may be unrealistic. Joanna can stand on her toes for 7 minutes whilst balancing a camel on her nose, why can’t he? Joseph learnt how to kick a ball 100 feet in the air and run the same distance and back before the ball hits the floor, why can’t he? The simple answer to these questions and many more is that, he is an individual with his own unique tailor-made capabilities and power. Take Thor and Ironman for example. People say Thor is better than Ironman as he’s a God and Ironman is only what he is because of his suit. He can destroy a trillion men in a few seconds with one spin of his hammer, take that hammer away and what is he? Nothing, just a man (or a God with no special hammer). Now let me ask you, Thor may be better according to society on paper, but if you were in need of crazy ass ammo and weapons, who would be the man you go to? I know I would be looking for the Stark Tower and not a way into Asgard. (which by the way is a lot cheaper to get to through my cousin Akhtar’s travel agency, call him on the number below for a discount to loads of destinations – ahem not an Ad)
So, back to the changes, just because the challenges are now different, it doesn’t mean my kid is any less or any more of a ‘Normal’ kid. What super power I don’t see in my kid, others may see in him, this however will do nothing for him. To truly make him happy I need to see his super powers myself. I need to appreciate his weirdness and his uniqueness. I need to see it and tell him that I notice it. Not everyone will become a great footballer or barrister, some will become that coach or that lecturer that will make them, the ‘GREAT‘ they are.