By Elnur Huseynov
Dedicated to love of my life, Amina
There are two kinds of travel: first class and with children.
I am somewhere in the middle as I am blessed to have only one baby girl named Amina Huseyn bintu Elnur ibn Hasan ibn Taghi ibn Unidentified who is just one year and four something month if I am not mistaken. And it is hilarious that my wife does not read this newspaper, as otherwise that would be perhaps my last post before I submerge into a continuous polemic on dates and numbers associated with women in my family. But before I had children, I had about 6 theories on how to raise children, now I have one child and no theories.
I was someone commenting on one family one kid policy and speaking ignorantly on family constraints when it comes to breeding more kids. Now, it's changed. For no explicable reason I want to have as many daughters, and emphatically daughters, more daughters than anyone else. I am serious. Raising a kid can certainly be equivalent of a PhD in fathering and mothering and I am in this degree now. Men can't give birth, and no medical intervention can do a thing, but it is also true that a mother does not become pregnant in order to provide employment to medical people either. Giving birth is an ecstatic jubilant adventure not available to males. It is a woman's crowning creative experience of a lifetime.
I realize now that being a parent wasn't just about bearing a child, or giving a birth to it, it is about bearing witness to its life. If you happen to be a woman, what made you a mother? Was that the moment when you relinquish your child, or when you sat at night when your baby was sick, or when you fed and cared for your child. Which act made you more of a mother?
People at present times may be incredibly rude about it sometimes. Like, `What? You`re married?` Strange reaction to have. Proves what people`s ideas about marriage are. We`re having a baby. What?` As if it`s the end of the world. Of course not, it`s otherwise, the start of a brilliant world. It is just grown-ups hardly understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always explaining things to them. When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it's amazing what you can learn. Especially if the people who are doing the talking happen to be children.
While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about. May be that is why parents are always more ambitious for their children than they are for themselves? Our children is our future and what we instill in them will be the foundation upon which they build their future. As babies don't come with instruction booklets, we need to prepare, but can we prepare the future for them, no, we can't. We can, however, prepare our children for the future. Over these two years, I noticed that my child who learns quickly is more adventurous. She's ready to run risks. She approaches life with arms outspread. She wants to take it all. She has the desire to make sense out of things. She's not concerned with concealing her ignorance or protecting herself. She's ready to expose herself to disappointment and defeat. She has a certain confidence. She has a kind of trust. Our souls as Dostoyevski put it is healed by being with children. You need to teach them how to think and not only what to think. Your children are one of the greatest gifts God gives to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.
When you've had one call after another and your little one is tugging on your shirt, remember what really matters. When the milk is splattered all over the floor and those little eyes are looking at you for your reaction, remember what really matters. It takes 5 minutes to clean up spilled milk; it takes much longer to clean up a broken spirit.
In the end, a good quote from Ursula Hegi describing both parents and children, as you surely have one of them. "That's the nature of being a parent, Sabine has discovered. You'll love your children far more than you ever loved your parents, and -- in the recognition that your own children cannot fathom the depth of your love -- you come to understand the tragic, unrequited love of your own parents.
Your old new friend,dad