Friday, August 28, 2009

Moments Disguised as Years

Children are a strange breed. On one hand, they're the stuff of theories, posters, warm fuzzy feelings and they're the almost the very reason why many find it worth getting up in the morning. Children - unlike religion, food, the rich, the poor, the coloured, the old, you name it - are never the target of criticism.

I mean, no child can ever be put down for being (and behaving like) a child. Ever heard of child-ism? Even the evil of infanticide (and, IMO, abortion) can hardly be said to be as, well, personal as hating another for skin-colour.

Maybe it's the "faith like a child" every pre-7 year old exhibits. Maybe it's their vulnerability and innocence. Of late, I've noticed another trait that children have perfected (only to evidently lose as the years go by): The capacity to feel intense joy on a regular basis.

The way kids behave you could be forgiven for thinking they win the national lottery (or have fallen in love?) a few times a week. Their all-out authentic shouts of elation make you wonder about the last time you got that totally unexpected break at work. Children's laughter (almost alien to your average office worker) make you long for the freedom, trust and fearless eagerness for living you know you lost somewhere between high-school and that last pay cheque.

It's like children are in, yup, heaven. And touching heaven takes nothing less than true faith, the kind of hoping (without seeing) and knowing (without knowing) that grown-ups can only write, dream and preach about.

It's not easy raising my children (and staying financially afloat whilst doing so, smile) but their presence and the honour to care for them and drink of their passion and joy, are next to priceless. I'll treasure it because I know in the half-blink of an eye it'll be over, and whilst new kinds of joy await, this joy - of sleep-sacrificing and uncertainty-filled parenting - will last but a short time, a fleeting period...moments disguised as years.

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