I stumbled upon this cartoon a few weeks ago.
(Click for full size.)
And I thought, gosh, it's exactly like that. How truly sad when you think about it.
The whole business of "sculpting souls" (as the late Dan Fogelberg coined it) comes with the agonizing task of sometimes guiding said sweet little souls down paths they'd rather not go but that you know are good for them (e.g. not having dessert after breakfast, which essentially was grain and sugar, almost more like a dessert than dessert itself, not that that fact bolsters your argument).
It stems from the fact that this new little unbridled souls really believe anything is possible and that they are the center of the universe, at first. (The computer geek in me thinks "what an interesting default setting...") The careful journey of adjusting this view to a more realistic and appropriate view of their centralness in the universe is just this side of heartbreaking at times. It is somewhat mitigated in that you can assure them they will always be the center of YOUR parental universe, thank God.
Another pitfall looms when they start talking, and particularly after the first few times they surprise you with an understanding that seems beyond their years: it's too easy to treat them like little adults.
My dad was apparently guilty of this, because my mom went to the trouble of embroidering and framing this "poem" in our hallway: Father Forgets. My memories are that he could be strict, but I don't recall anything that could've spurred the effort it took to stitch all of this out. ...Hmm, maybe it worked.
As a father, though, I can certainly relate to the late-night guilt fest when your failings as a parent come back to accuse and haunt you.
On a happier note, here's a cute piece (all of which I agree with) that offers "Everything I know about women" that he gleaned from his two-year-old niece; which I can say is a pretty potent way to finally grasp (some of) the mystery of women, having learned a lot about them from my experiences of raising my two lovely daughters.
I know some of my wife's behaviors make a lot more sense now that I've seen them in their primitive stages through the girls.
In closing, I have another cartoon that captures a particular aspect of childhood. What do you supposed this little guy is overhearing? (Click pic to see whole set.)
- Found via Attu
(Btw, this was one of those posts I mentioned having pounded on a while and it's only a coincidence that I've posted it right before Father's Day. I'm still not happy with it, but decided it was finally time to just let it go. They can't all be gems.)