Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Parental Love (A Riff)

I wonder how many incongruities and insecurities and soul-aches in life come out of the fact that none of us could possibly love our parents as much as they love us.

And I wonder how many lives have fallen short of their mark because that sort of love was never realized -- not on the superficial level that people use to say things like: "life before kids was worthless" (which it is not, whether before or completely without kids, by the way), but in a sense that the intensity and type of love that lives in the heart of a parent was never in the mix as an impetus for deeds and aspirations.

And I also wonder why we don't love our parents as intensely as they love us.

I'd hate to think it might be evolutionary, simply -- the idea that cute babies make us feel protective.

I also wonder if the completion of the circle of achieving true manhood is the feeling of raw strength that a man's protective instincts toward his kids gives him. Because . . . well, just be sure you never think of breaking into my house, because what I would be capable of in defense of my family is not worth a TV set. Let's just leave it at that.

In the end, I wonder if we ever know our parents until we become parents and if, somewhere in the Universe, there is an Intent: that we parents will know the love our parents feel for us, even if we can't feel it the same way for them; so that, in the end, when we finally part ways forever, it will feel as if all of the business is completed and that, as we were meant to walk out of their houses without pain, we can, some day, watch them pass out of our lives and be conscious of the room their absence has left in our hearts -- space that was cleared by our finished business: emotions tucked into the brain as understanding, freeing us up to shelve away the love we need to scatter into other places.

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