Though I doubt there are parents or grandparents who would knowingly crave it, the unwitting blessing of the perfect child or grandchild is I suspect par excellence. What little I know of propagating the species leads me to understand that while there is commonly unqualified endearment from the procreators and their forebears for the offspring, it’s an added advantage to have a patently zealous and enthralling sprog. The communication of the perfect child is as artless and as magnificent as a carat diamond in the brilliant afternoon sunshine; the penetrating eyes are inescapable and as madly beguiling,
It is however more than an inductive leap from this wistful paradigm to the full complication of child rearing. In short my hypothesis is that notwithstanding the initial boon of physique and intellect which the perfect child may possess, the mission of growth and development is anywhere from sedated or complete. It puts me in mind of the launch of a new kite on a windy day; namely, exhilarating, riveting and initially at least terribly cautious.
For good or for bad each of us from childhood is indebted or beholden to whatever it is that society has afforded us upon our subsequent journey through life. It embarrasses me that I have never fully addressed the weight of raising a family. Fifty years of heedless devotion to self-satisfaction has clearly interrupted the contemplation. In my defence however there are elements which have distanced me from the analysis. No matter, I discern the burden. Even regarding my own upbringing and private Holden Morrissey Caufield moments, I easily reckon the unpredictable and mercurial nature of personal development. What I may not tally as readily is the other than intellectual requirements of parenthood; viz., ready capital and an even more unobstructed outfit of patience. In addition I imagine there is of necessity considerable accommodation of self for the benefit of the pack. This marriage of one’s bank account and one’s soul is not for the pusillanimous!
Apparently what sustains this vigorous enterprise called “having a family” are the unpremeditated rewards. I doubt there is any one of us who would characterize ourselves as having been an “unpremeditated reward” to our respective parents and grandparents. The vision is more discernible when contemplating one’s young relatives of any degree. I won’t insult my domestic comrades by evoking the saccharin image of a puppy, but my conjecture is that the reaction upon embracing a new child is similar. It is the union of unblemished beauty and limitless prospects which propels the keenness.
So where does all this put the perfect child? Let’s face it, it’s still a benediction to the child and to the child’s family. The most one can hope for in addition is the child’s appreciation of its fortuity. This means understanding the meaning of both luck and setback. The collateral from either is far from negligible. Having as I do a profound acquaintance with child rearing, my only direction to parents, teachers, employers and others who may ultimately become involved in raising the child is to set an example. Anything short of that – especially if inspired by anger – is worthless. I say this from seven decades of having learned from my own parents.