Just working throughout the day, and working with caffeine-withdrawal, too, so I’d like to shift the focus a bit.
I’d like to sound like I actually do something else than think about my own ego, work-life-balance and such.
I’d like to note a few thoughts on Jay that have been very powerful and have come again and again these recent months, as I’ve seen him grow from a newborn to a 4-month old baby:
There is so much potential in a newborn, so much promise, so much innocence. Especially innocence.
To think that all that may be more or less messed up throughout a life is almost unbearable. You may do the light version of a mess up and just not get a very good money-making or relationship going for you, despite having the chances.
Or you might die suddenly and randomly.
Or you might end up worse. After all, Jeffrey Dahmer and Hitler were both babies at once time, right? Who would have thought …
So innocence is both real and relative.
It is there for all of us, and in a way it is heartbreaking, because we know it can’t last.
Things may not go as bad as ending up dying through some random accident or disaster, seemingly. Or ending up a tyrant.
Or even ending up ‘just’ an alcoholic or with a broken marriage or two.
But chances are that in the latter categories one or more things will indeed happen. You will create messes as you journey through life, or just wander into messes.
But there is no other way, is there?
I mean, we can’t stay babies and innocent forever. We have to live.
We have to fail.
We have to risk.
That is a good thing to remember.
But there is a definite zone there … a very fragile, very deep, very powerful perspective. It is about knowing that somebody is indeed, in all the senses that matter … innocent.
If nothing else, innocent of the horrors of the world or the failures of other people.
But it will never last. Never.
You will always have to grow up and leave The Garden.
And when you think about it, there is no other way for a meaningful life, no matter if you think something comes after it or not.
I actually know a guy who has, in a sense, refused to grow up. He has been ill, sure, but in my opinion there is a lot of decision-making, too, behind his choice of staying at home most of the time. He is 49.
Is that a life? Minimizing risk all around?
I know what the answer is for me, and I think for most other people.
No, it is so: We have to grow up. Big surprise.
And that means not being innocent anymore. In many ways and then some.
Strange, for as I write this, I feel I have a sense of a soul in Jay, or a sense of the grown-up that he may become. I feel a certain tension and potential. Something about all the things he can become which are good and will benefit him and the world, and also there is a sense of … tension. Something to do with emotions that may or may not play out right. As it was for me.
I had temper. I suffered depressions. I was very arrogant at a time and got hurt for it – after I had hurt others.
What will it be for Jay? It may just be a projection, but certainly that sense I described – that feeling – of what is there, in the future, waiting … that is something that will become real. Maybe not in the way I fear or hope, but certainly innocence will be lost.
Maybe that is what I feel and nothing more.
It is a very special feeling, and heart-breaking, or straining – to say the least.
To know something hurtful has to happen. Not just because of evolution’s inevitability, but because it is the right thing.
Just as it is also right that there is a time when everything is innocent, or as innocent as Char and I can make it for him. Playing with him, smiling with him, protecting him – doing our best to make his little world Good.
But as often before, I will say that that act can probably only have value because we realize that it is something that we create – an innocent environment – which has to end. We can only draw it out, for as long as it is good for him.
At some point, sooner rather than later I suspect, we also have to be responsible parents and let him risk stuff and get hurt. The opposite is not worth contemplating anyway. Both Char and I really loathe the idea of over-protecting children and not giving them a chance to become competent. So that much is clear, too.
Maybe everything is as it should be then. But as said, the feeling is so strong – the feeling that it is close to heart-break that innocence has to end.
In such cases, though, it helps to write about it. One day I will know why.