What do they usually think?

Four days ago I left the supermarket in a huff to beat the rain and evening traffic home. I didn’t quite manage that as the rain drops met my head and attire right outside the shopping mall. As I sheltered myself for the few minutes, I was struck by an image of a lady probably in her mid thirties, heavy with child and carrying another on her back spin out of a corridor with several umbrella’s for sale to the Nairobians rushing about as characterized by rains at the leaving office hour.

This s perhaps one of the saddest sites I have seen in the recent past, that besides the man on a wheel chair along Uhuru Highway begging for coins from motorists and another of a man lying along the street somewhere around Kencom House, completely burnt and skin exposed to the unhygienic surroundings there with.

Just an Image...

Of course I have lived around this Capital and many other towns in the country and witnessed such incidences through my life. Most of the times I have not been bothered as such; occasionally dropping the coins and pocket change in tins or besides them and moving on with life as I take time, at times to thank God for the better days I have as compared.

This particular lady I spotted at the shopping mall however gave me a different thought and a series of imaginations that I haven’t managed to shake off entirely in the past few days. I am not a parent, I really wish and look forward to the day when I will be one. I intend to give my wife and children all I can possibly manage in every aspect that informs my role as a husband and as a father. I also look forward to being reasonable and flexible enough to allow my child to pursue and become whatever they want, as long as I am not going to hear stuff like ‘I want to be a dancer’ or one of those things related. I am sorry but that’s never going to happen.

Just what exactly goes on in a parent or guardian’s mind? The dreams, the hopes and expectations they have of their off spring. How far should they go in shaping and moulding their children? Should this be in line with what the ‘Parent Knows and has Experienced’ or should it be with what the ‘Child hopes and dreams’ of? Should a parent be offended if their child decides to take a different path in life far from what they have modelled them to be or shaped them to become?

A friend and I shared recently on challenges that people my generation go through today, that results to conflict with parents, especially fathers. As they say, ‘Those questioning the character and mannerisms of our generation, forget who raised it.

Anyway, nothing conclusive, just wondering, if in my old man’s eyes, I am not ‘what he wants me to be’ (like I care) what goes on in the said lady’s father’s mind?


9 thoughts on “What do they usually think?

  1. “I also look forward to being reasonable and flexible enough to allow my child to pursue and become whatever they want, as long as I am not going to hear stuff like ‘I want to be a dancer’ or one of those things related. I am sorry but that’s never going to happen.”

    Such an oxymoron. I think I’ll let my child be what he/she wants as long as they’ve thought it through, it makes sense and can commit to it and carry it to the end. If my child is good at ballet and gets entry into ‘The Juilliard School’ then I’ll support that too. But not that he/she wants to be a dancer but has two left feet…some gentle ‘steering’ will be done there for sure!

    • Oxymoron sigh… Well, I will let them do that, if the environment and facilities around them provide for that. But to tell me (s)he is going to be dancing at some club in west lands like I saw another one dance at some function that’s a joke. Of course, who wouldn’t want their kid to pursue dancing at ‘The Julliard School’ or such related situations? We all want reasonable direction for our offspring, but I believe things get to a point where people have to determine their own course, in a structured and possibly convincing method.

  2. Where did the avi disappear to on the second comment?

    I think parents usually just want the best for their children, which is subjective since the best in their opinion is limited by their level of information, past experiences and the mere fact that they don’t have a magic crystal that can see into the future.

    What will I do with my child?

    As much as possible, I will raise them to be reasonable and realistic with their hopes and dreams. I don’t have a list of things I want my child to be, I know what I don’t want her to be, and will mold her not to be that. That’s my diplomatic way of saying I will brainwash her into not thinking the runway is a valid career path.

    I intend to do this brainwash early enough, so she doesn’t hate me for it.

    My parents didn’t dictate what I was to be in life, but looking back, my father sort of brainwashed me into ‘reasonable’ career paths.

    That didn’t stop my sister from trying her hand on the runway, then journalism, and finally sales. Seems the brainwash didn’t work there, but even then, they didn’t disown her. Dad made noise for a day, then we all trooped into Safari Park to watch her strut her stuff.

    In that one way, he’s admirable

    Sorry for the long post-like comment

    • Sigh, every time I use Google chrome the AVI disappears.

      I like the way you’re simply put it. parents want the best for their children, and of course there are limits as to how far they can go.

      I can relate to some of your situations; after missing out on Architecture, It was almost a crisis getting me a course to do. My father particularly wanted me to be a Lawyer, he went to great extent trying 2 sell me the course. I had a few family friends and relatives in the Legal profession even making promises before I got admitted… But I have always been known to keep my cool and surprise everyone when they least expect… I didn’t shock mum when I woke up one day and declared I am heading to Strathmore for BBIT… There were other determining factors though, that led me to my field… perhaps informing what my next post should be… Sibling Rivalry 🙂

    • I loved the post at your blog on parents living dreams through their children. For instance, it is not a secret that my old man wanted to be a Lawyer… Parenthood as you say, should entail building strong character and mind. The rest will definitely not be difficult.

  3. Wonderful post. I did a course everyone wanted me to do. Not what I wanted. Funny thing is I’ve been working for about 7 years and I’m yet to put that degree to use 🙂 *sigh*

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