16 years had already been tough for my parents to raise me – and 11 years – for my younger brother. It’s been the best of times. It’s been the worst of times. Much time had been squandered by my parents for the nourishment of their children, on both the best and the worst times. We had passed through the laughter, through the sadness, and through the indignation. There were times when they could share funny jokes, there were times when they could weep on the sly, and there were times when they would burst up in flaring emotion.
This night, while we were having dinner, while the TV was showing Liverpool and Everton football match (my younger brother, Dicky, is an avid fan of football), my dad had a brief discourse about it. About raising kids. It’s one of many summarizations of what my dad had experienced while raising us.
“Compared to raising children in your lifetime, giving birth is still much easier, like a piece of cake.” He spoke from the perspective of masculine side. I know there’s a logical fallacy in the end of the sentence. ‘Most of’ the men in the world only know if women would have to endure endless indisposition while they are in the process on bringing the ‘human would-bes’ into this absurd world, but never exactly know how the women endure with such pain (see, there’s an exception: a mad scientist in Japan whose name I’ve been oblivious with decided to have his body inserted with uterus, and gave birth to a child, only to know how painful it is to be in confinement). That’s where I was a bit surprised to hear my dad’s words, responding with a hodge-podge of aghastly surprise and confusion, “Really?”
“It’s also very easy to raise kids.” My dad went on. I was captured by my succinct razzle-dazzle when he added on some words, “only if you feed them from all what you have earned. Feeding them is always easy, but feeding them with true , dyed-on-the-wool education is an almost perfect shoal.”
While I was trying to dissociate the thin bones from the steamed grouper with my lip, he continued, “If you ever think raising kids is a piece of cake, the rest of your life will be filled with remorse. Just like what I’d ever told, if you only feed them without education, and you think you’ve been doing good by doing so, that is of no value to your kids, and yourself. It may be simply feeding them with food, either scrumptious or not scrumptious, or consummating every single postulate that they want. Unless you’re doing the teaching itself, that’s useless. Just take an example. See how many children in the world fight against each other for portions of inheritance by their deceased parents.”
Summing it up, there are many kinds of parents in the world. Some are labelled ‘tigers’; they tend to obtrude their own children against their will. At the same time, some are labelled ‘featherbedders’; they spoil their children too incessantly. Some are labelled ‘cold steel’; they have been used to giving a cold shoulder on their own children, behaving indifferently no matter what situations they are facing. Others are labelled ‘wishy-washy’; they are often faced with uneasy consideration while opting ways to educate them. And the rest are labelled ‘democrats’; I don’t think I have to illustrate about the concept of democracy anymore, must I?
There’s one question as a closing statement, and I don’t expect you to answer it, not until you have raised at least a child: what kind of parents, as has been described above, have you been?