This weekend, when we did our family hike, we talked about you and your two cousins, among other matters. We recalled your years of growing up closely together, and where each of you are now. I like to view them as interesting stories unfolding as you each navigate through the paths you have chosen or landed on.
At one point, you asked me what I may have envisioned you’d become, whether you turned out the way I wanted. The question gave me pause. I don’t think I envisioned you to be anything concretely in my mind. That would have confined you to the limits of my finite imagination. It would also have constrained you to images and aspirations that would have been irrelevant or obsolete by the time you’ve set out on your own.
We did, however, have a hand in shaping your values and principles. (Or so I’d like to believe). I can see it all play out in your work, your personal preferences, the friends you choose or who gravitate towards you, or even how you deal with your landlord or your car dealer.
I’d like to think we raised you to be opinionated as opposed to spineless or wavering, passionate about your life work, your causes, your sport, as opposed to free-wheeling or foolhardy. Engaged in your society and your environs as opposed to nescient or indifferent. Grounded instead of frivolous or pretentious. Mindful and compassionate as opposed to inconsiderate or self-absorbed.
I have to admit, however, that I did not expect you to be the humpback whale so early in your adult life. I suppose even this may be genetic? Or, have we breathed it into your consciousness too?