Monday, October 19, 2015

Disappointments

My Dear Son:

As I said, not all milestones are sad. The happy journeys we have as children, we long to repeat for our children. Then as parents, we come to realize that our children are not always carbon copies of ourselves. They will inevitably find their own milestones, their own passages through life. These are defining moments that really can't be repeated, anyway.


Technological advancements alone have shaped your generation and mine with milestones that wouldn't exist apart from the technology, for example. So, if anything, while we understand and share those joys and disappointments, we each find our own unique experiences around them. We each face our own milestones.


My dad told me when I was much older about one of his first great disappointments. His grandfather had prepared a stall and promised him a pony, and as it turned out, in his opting to bid low and wait, came home with no pony. I could only imagine the little boy's sagging shoulders when he saw his grandfather arriving home empty-handed. And somehow, his grandfather never got around to getting him a pony after that.


My grandfather, on the other hand, showered me with ponies and later, horses. My dad watched, I think, with some satisfaction that that disappointment had not been repeated. And, I did the same with you with your pony Blaze. Certain milestones make their indelible marks on us, ones that we don't want our children to face. And sometimes, by sharing what our children have that we could not, this shaves away the rough edges of our own disappointments. It's almost an element of correcting something gone wrong in the world, and the satisfaction of seeing the joy that blooms out of it when errors even long past are reversed.


As you grow older, you will begin to understand that a big part of feeling disappointed is when your expectations are not met. Mostly now, yours revolve around something you'd like to do but can't, like going swimming during a thunderstorm. I think you will begin to see over time that life will meet you with less disappointments when you cherish no expectations. This is yet another subject, for another letter. So, I think it helps as you make your own milestones to always remember that you are loved.




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