I saw a post on momsopinions.wordpress.com called Words of Wisdom. It said “Always try to look at the world through your children’s eyes.”
I can attest that I’ve always tried to do that with my own son, not just to see the world through his eyes but to hear it the way he hears it and feel it the way he feels it. Sometimes I sense things correctly, sometimes I miss the subtle nuances. I’ve never been a guy, I have no real experience from a guy’s perspective so it takes a lot of practice and I’m not always quick to learn. Theres a level of mutual understanding that has to be nurtured over a long time. We’ve managed pretty well but we’ve been working at it 19 years and it’s still a work in progress.
But this quote, “Always try to look at the world through your children’s eyes” well I’m coming a bit unstuck with it at the moment.
You see, when it comes to me and my Dad I don’t want him to have to see the world through my eyes right now. I probably don’t want him to have to see it the way I see it for the next 2 years, maybe even longer. I know he does and I know he’ll carry on because he’s an amazing man, so much empathy, compassion, soul. But I don’t want him to have to see this, not through my eyes. Because he’s seen it too many times before. He saw it with my Mum and her sister and there was nothing beautiful, no happy ending, it was simply hard, harsh, then downright cruel and spiteful. He saw in a slightly different guise – same malady, different places – with his Dad, my Grandfather (another good and gentle man) and then he bore witness for his favourite cousin. No happy endings there either.
And now it’s me, his daughter, it’s me bringing the deep, dark shadow back to his door again. And I sit awake at night asking myself what the hell has my Dad done to deserve this? He’s a good man, he’s spent his whole life saving other people’s lives. When does he get a break from all this sh*t? Of course I know I’m never going to get answers to these questions. I know they’re futile. But it doesn’t stop them being real.
Maybe, just maybe, as his only daughter with no daughters of my own, this will finally bring the chapter to a close. I will win my fight and there’ll be no more shadows over the door way, no more long dark corridors, no more walking home to an empty house. But right now, because it’s here, because the shadow is over the doorway again, I ask respectfully and out of kindness, to my Dad, my family and my friends, “please don’t always try to see the world through my eyes.” Because the last thing I want to do, to any of you, is hurt you.