“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.” – Ursula Hegi, Stones from the River
As I was driving Adi back from school, he was trying to get a head start on his quiz prep with heads down (pun?!) pouring over a folder.
We drove over a high bridge.
From that vantage point, the colorful sky and the sun setting was a sight to behold.
I urged him to look up and enjoy the beautiful sight.
He glanced up for a bit and said “Oh…nice”.
Then, he looked down again at the folder.
That signalled the mark of my math based lecture.
Here is what I told him – “We all have a quota. Let us asssume that I live another 4 decades.. then I have approx 15,000 sunsets to behold. Let us asssume you live another 7 decades, then you have approx 25,000 sunsets to behold. Of those, there are going to be many cloudy, dark days of fall and winter. So, the actual days that you are out and about on a beautiful evening and have the chance to see the gorgeous evening sky….will be far less than the 25,000 sunsets number. So, please, enjoy it…while you can.”
I am sure he won’t get it now.
Sooner than later, an evening will arrive, when he is on a lake, mountain or ocean …sunggling beside the person who captured his heart. The sun will be setting. He will behold that evening sky. And, think it the most beautiful thing ever. He won’t want the evening to end.
Do you think he will remember my math based lecture?
This whole parenting thing is so tragic.
I need to exercise self control and stop my stupid long winded lectures. What is it worth? Nothing?
My friend Priya Bala had this witty response to my post:
What is it worth? Nothing.”
Hah! That boy, if he takes after you my dear, will be a player. A more likely scenario will be when both of them are snuggling and he notices the beautiful sky, he’ll remember your math lecture. He’ll assume a far-away look. Then he’ll chuckle gently. She’ll probably ask him what he’s thinking. And he’ll look deep into her eyes and he’ll respond:
“We all have a quota. Let us assume that we live another 6 decades. Then we have approximately 22,000 sunsets to behold. Of those, there are going to be many cloudy, dark days of fall and winter. So, the actual days when we’re out and about on a beautiful evening and have the chance to see the gorgeous evening sky….. will be far less than the 22,000 number. I’m just so glad I get to spend this precious one with you.”
And she’ll sigh and swoon. Mission accomplished!
Also published on Medium.