Out of his imagination

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: Musings, Philosophy |

When my father decided have me, he worked hard to convince my mother it was the right thing to do. “We have the one child already,” she said, with some trepidation, (my sister; her firstborn; the one she’d had years before, without him) as she knew his response: “I need; I want the one that’s only mine!” I was conceived. Eventually. She said to him: “I’ll have another, but only if it happens within two years of the one I’m carrying.”

It didn’t, and I am semi-alone. I’m semi- a sibling; semi- a cousin: I’m the wrong generation, too old and too young.

It used to bother me. The “odd one out” is never at peace. The one who wanted me, my father, turns out not to have wanted “Me” at all, but some idea of “Me”; of who “Me” could become. He’d thought he could mold this young life into “mini-Him”. I’d take over the family business; I’d become a fine craftsman; I’d do these things because they make sense, no?

Although I do like to tinker and poke at mechanical things, it’s strictly not-for-profit. This father of mine, the one who wanted me, is long gone. He learned fulfilment in other ways. I am no longer the odd one out. I’ve become the odd one “in”, and I am at peace.Β Β 


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17 Responses to “Out of his imagination”

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There is always a danger in being a parent that we project our own selves onto our children, attempting to make them into something or someone they are not. I am aware of this pitfall and try to allow my kids to be themselves, loved and accepted for who they are.

And dare I say it, dear Muse, there is a Heavenly Father who created you and loves you.

Poignant post.

my dad would’ve like me to learn his business too because he believes it’s profitable and all that. i have no interest in his job because it requires an extroverted personality and i am not. but i know he is proud of me in some ways and i’m glad he doesn’t choose to dwell of making me become what he wants me to be but instead allows me to be who i want to be. my family is liberal about my life paths.

i’m glad to hear you and your dad resolved this. what prompted you to write this? do you miss him? i know i miss my family back home right now.

I know where this came from but why at this time? Did something happen or is it just the right time?

When you are the odd one out it makes you become your own person and I guess we have them to thank for that…although I choose to think we were already different….may be that is why we did not bond with them as they wished us to…or become what they wished us to.

Strange, as I was thinking about past generations and in particular my parents generation the other day. They just had children because it is what you did. We children fitted in with them. Now parents plan their lives around their children….from getting ready to have them to the whole school thing…moving near to schools to give them a chance at a school in a good catchment area.If fathers could have the babies I think childbirth would be shared…..every aspect is considered and in that hopefully the worth of the individual is valued. Hopefully people have children for the right reasons now….not for what they will become but for the sheer joy of loving them and shaping future human beings.

teeveebee, I appreciate everything you’ve said. Knowing you a bit, I would say your children are blessed. And that extends to the ones you work with, too! This is an unusually somber post for me—somehow, though, it wanted to be heard. And, thank you, I am well loved, and know it. πŸ™‚

Hi, sulz, yes, that was part of it for me. My parents were in retail, and if I spent my days serving customers, I’d be emotionally and spiritually exhausted. I did value and admire his craftmanship, though. I’m glad your family supports your uniqueness. πŸ™‚ I think sometimes parents are astonished when their children turn out differently than expected. This post actually came to me in a dream…I woke up and wrote it all down, and let it sit for a couple of days. I didn’t really want to post it, as it’s not like my usual tone and style, but it would not be denied! I thought about whether I miss him, and to give you an honest answer, there are times when I do. He was a funny guy (although I didn’t appreciate his humor when I was a young teen), and I’ll often find myself thinking of humorous family anecdotes. He’s been deceased for quite a few years now, and sometimes I ask myself if I every really knew him. It’s an odd feeling. What I’m grateful for is that we were able to have several long talks about life before he passed on. I do treasure having had that opportunity. I’ll bet you’ll be glad to see your folks when you return!

Magik, it’s been an interesting week. I’ve gotten telephone calls from three relatives in other states. That sounds normal for many, for me it’s highly unusual. All said they just got to thinking about family for some reason. Then, as I mentioned to sojourning sulz, above, I dreamed this post. It’s not my usual style at all—a trip down melancholy lane—yet it found its way here. It’s interesting you say your parents had children because that’s what you did. “OK, we’ve got the marriage; home; job—let’s see, there’s something else we’re supposed to do now…” I like your thoughs about helping to shape a life, rather than my father’s notion about molding it, as if out of clay. Of course he didn’t realize any other way. Near his end, we were able to get my mother out of the room a couple of times πŸ˜‰ and had chats about the meaning of life for each of us up to that point! We’d both learned a lot since I was born. πŸ˜€

Muse, I don’t really know what to say. I can kind of relate to what you are saying.
When I was very young I was my fathers pet. I could do no wrong. And then as I grew older (my parents had separated) I became my own person. I was very creative and I guess unusual. I never got into legal trouble, or did things like that, but somehow people just thought I was odd.
My father was very strict and I had a habit of painting on my bedroom walls. Dragons, Pink Floyd Lips, not bad stuff. But he thought this was a problem. I’ve always done my own thing, made my own decisions and I think it makes people uncomfortable in a way.
I remember him telling my Mother she had better watch out for me.
We are by no means close. I do love him. But we only see each other or talk about four times a year. I don’t think he really wanted children. He wouldn’t even recognize his own grandchildren.
About 15 years ago he called me up out of the blue to tell me that he always thought I’d be the only one of his children he would have to worry about, and that then, I was the only one he didn’t and he wanted me to know that.
Even though I would like to be closer with him, we have a mutual respect. I know I will regret not seeing him often, but I gave up trying.
It’s sad isn’t it? That sometimes we wait until it’s too late to communicate things we should have all along.
Sometimes we are harder on our family than we would ever be to a stranger or someone we barely know. We expect more from them. We think we know who they are better than they do, because we are on the outside looking in.
With my Father, I don’t know the real reasons for him not being involved with us. Maybe I never will. I’ve tried several times to communicate with him, forget the past and move on. But it never seems to work out.
I’m glad you two had an opportunity to talk. I’m sure he realized what a “gem” you are. It’s hard for some people to allow themselves to say how they feel. To show they care. I’m glad you are at peace.
“Odd one in” I like that. πŸ™‚

My goodness, BD, for someone who didn’t “know what to say” you said many wonderful things! I’m moved by the story you’ve shared, here, and honored you chose to do so. You sound like you were a very creative young person (as you are now, still, obviously!) and perhaps difficult for your parents to understand. Even though it worked out for me, it’s not always wise or necessary to try to heal relationships with family members, but if it can be done it can be a good thing. As Magik said, above, (very thought provokingly) perhaps our oddness and our care-givers’ reactions to us helped to craft the people we are today. Who you are certainly enhances my life! πŸ™‚ Thank you.

Wow. That’s sad how a person could do that do their own child. But I’m glad to see you’re not equating your self worth with your father’s “idea” of you. I applaud your strength and your centeredness. You ARE enough.

Ha! I did write quite a bit, didn’t I? I’m just lucky my mother let me be who I was. I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted.

I agree with you that everything that happened made me who I am. And I know how awful this will sound, but if he had stayed I would have had a very rigid and strict environment, so…

We are who we are because of this. I’m happy. It looks like you are A OK too! πŸ™‚

I appreciate the support, Felipe! I don’t want you to get the impression that this post defined my entire relationship with my dad, but, he and I did have very different expectations about the child’s role in the family. All is well, however. I think (I hope) child rearing has come a long way from the objectifying attitute much of society once shared. πŸ™‚ I posted much cheerier stuff right before and after this one, thus proving your last line. Thank you!

BD, I agree that much of who we are now is the sum of our past experiences—infused with our own brand of innate uniqueness, of course. It seems you and I and many like us have stopped allowing others to define who we are. Yay!

Hmmmm – this is why you get under my skin, Muse – not in the nasty way – the way that makes me want to add my part to your piece of the web – poignant and, if I may be so bold, inspiring – I do love having people like you in this world.

I won’t take up much space – I am the second youngest of 8, yes 8 children. I come in the second four – we were in batches you see.

I, like Bead, was my fathers pet – and I was detested by my older siblings for it. I get along much better with my younger sister, she is only 22 months younger than I.

Being detested gives you a different view on life – it makes you hard, very hard inside – some say heartless. I still find it difficult, even to this day, to have friends – real friends – acquaintances I have many – because you can walk away from them. But some of those always regarded me as a friend – I never really understood that I was hurting them by blocking them out of my life.

I lost my mum when I was a young boy and dad brought us up, he worked to put food on the table and I loved him deeply. I still miss him to this day, he died in ’89. But, I will always say that I don’t think I would change anything – it made me, me. And, even though some think I am a heartless bastard, I think I am an OK guy.

I do think with all my heart that my children and step-children love me, I try to do the best for them and direct them in their direction, so many times, when asked why I don’t want them to be like me, I say, because I want you to be better – have goals that I can’t dream of having – make a difference in this world; just don’t be like me.

So far I haven’t slipped up in that regard. This world I borrow from them and I will do all that I can to make it a better place for them, well, in my little part of it.

I agree Will. I love coming here because Muse makes me think. Sometimes about things I try not to think about! πŸ™‚ I’m glad there is a Muse here for us!

Don’t worry, we know you’re not heartless. You’re more than an OK guy. And I’m sure all your children see that.

I was the youngest too! I hear you…that is why I have a high pain tolerance. The beatings I took over being my Father’s pet were constant, and some well-deserved. I milked it for as long as he lived lived with us, what a brat I was!

Ah, you guys! I step away from the blog for a few hours, and look what I come back to! I’ve gone all weepy, Will. I’m profoundly moved by your comments and your praise. You may write as much, and as often here as you like. You are always welcome at MusEditions. I didn’t realize there were eight of you! Having been almost an only child (my sister left home when I was 1), it’s amazing to contemplate. I must say I have never felt detested. Misunderstood, yes, but always loved in some sense. I can’t imagine what that must have been like for you. I had a cousin that lived with us for a while, and we fought. I’d been the only child until I was 12, and I didn’t like sharing at all. I’ve heard parents say “I love all my children the same”, but I can only believe that happens in rare circumstances. Each child has a unique personality, and some will resonate more with a parent’s personality than others. That’s only natural. What you say here indicates that, and as you’ve reported, being favored is a mixed blessing. On the one hand you are loved the “most”, by your father; on the other you are despised the “most” by some of your siblings. Goodness, why do these things have to be so complicated?!? I understand about friendships being a challenge, and I believe you’ve said before that you relocated a great deal during your childhood, too. You seem like you have such a happier life now, though, and reading you and getting to know you leads me to believe you must be a wonderful parent. You are one who has put your experience to good use. You seem anything but a heartless bastard to me! I only know you from blogging, but it’s obvious that many of us here in bloggieland have a great affection for you. So there! πŸ™‚

BD, this topic seems to have touched a nerve! Thank you for coming back and agreeing with Will. πŸ˜‰ I’m so appreciative of your support and encouragement. Well, no one deserves to get beat up, but kids can be harsh and competitive sometimes…I think a lot of the kids labeled “brats” in their youth turn out to be some of the most creative people as adults, because they’ve never accepted the status quo. Well, I like to think that, anyway, as I’ve been called a brat, too! πŸ˜€

Will, I forgot to say that I’m sorry you lost your Mother at such a young age, and what a great guy your Father was to raise eight children! I bet at that time many men would have chosen other options.

I still have both parents. When you both say you have lost a parent, I can’t imagine how that would feel. I don’t even want to think about it. 😦

Oh my. This is very different from the usual style of your posts, Muse!

I felt quite sad when I read this. It must have been very difficult for you, with those expectations placed upon you. I’m glad things resolved themselves OK. I think it’s great that you’re yourself.

Oh, B0bby, I’m sorry to have made you sad. 😦 You’re right, this was different for me; somehow it just wanted to be expressed. I think we all have glitches in our lives here and there. I honestly believe that learning to deal with them helps shape our character. Thank you, it means a lot to me for you to say that! πŸ™‚

I think sometimes parents believe that because they enjoy a certain occupation themelves, that their child/children would take the same liking to it as well. And of course we know that this is not true, because everyone is unique. We all don’t have the same interests, beliefs, or desires. This is what makes the world great because we can find that certain something that we want to do and be happy doing it. I’m happy to see that you are at peace now πŸ™‚ and I am enjoying reading your posts! Take care!

Shane, I love what you say here: “This is what makes the world great because we can find that certain something that we want to do and be happy doing it.”
Wow, so true! I find that really uplifting, and I thank you for your support. This was an unusually melancholy post for me; I’m usually much cheerier. I’m glad you are enjoying my posts. That’s a very nice thing to read. πŸ™‚

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