When a bird’s eggs hatch, it guards the nest and its offspring. They only leave to provide food for their young. The bird’s whole existence at that critical time is to rear its offspring. Once the hatchlings have grown feathers they start to teach the chicks things they should know as adult birds. Once the babies are strong enough, they coax the baby out of the nest to fly. A baby bird’s flight is a symbol of it’s independence. Then and ONLY then is the adult bird’s job complete.
I remember when my son was in the 8th grade he chose to play basketball, baseball and hang out with his friends. My social life had to be curtailed in order to advance his. So that meant going to practices, meets and games and taking a group of 8th grade boys to ESPN Zone and Dave and Busters on Friday and Saturday nights (prime date nights for me). As his father, to ensure his development I had to put his needs and requests ahead of mine for a time to support him and also show that I am there for him no matter what. I did so in hopes that he will do the same for his children and more. Then as that “adult bird”, I can sit back and watch my son soar to new heights.
As a father/parent, it is my duty to motivate and teach my children to strive for more. I should be their source of wisdom, a barometer as to the climate outside the confines of our home. I should not have to wait for the government or some standardized test to tell me what I should already know when it comes to my child’s education. I should be an ally to my children’s teachers, whom they are entrusted to for many hours per week. That means that I have to forego the ‘me first’ attitude and began to place my children first or at the very least share the spotlight with them until they decide to step out on their own.
Lately, we as parents have been so selfish that we’ll bring kids into the world, superimpose our own will on them and not helping them to develop that which is in them. Instead we promote our own shortcomings or lash out at them for what we see or don’t see in them that remind us of ourselves.
The reward of parenting is in sitting back after our children have flown the nest, watching them take flight knowing we had a hand in their achievement. Rejoicing by saying, “ I have helped to better society and the environment by raising a capable and functioning and productive member of society.” It is not our right/duty to make them do what we never got the chance to do or live vicariously through them and try to reap the benefits all the while making up for our mistakes.
Life should be in stages: I should take off from where my father left off, and my son where I left off and so on. There should be no reason why we must all make the same mistakes over and over, repeating the same cycles to no avail.
Please be a father/parent to your children, a voice when they need one, a guide when they are lost and a mirror when they’re aimlessly looking for a true reflection.