I often wonder whether the younger siblings have better impressions of their parents than their elder ones? Are the first kids in the family have more scars from their parents than the younger ones. I do not know. Being the youngest one in the family with so much of affection from my sister and two brothers apart from my parents, I am a spoiled brat. I owe them a lot to where I am today. I do have some scars but they are small stuff, but what about first born? Do they feel the same way? I wonder as a parent whether parents do justice to their first child.
Just like any of our favorites cell phones , video games or OS we all go through upgrades. Our experiences and realizations mold us and upgrade us. While not all experiences would have given us a positive upgrade, we can assume that for most majority who had not been subjected to extremities of life, the upgrade would have been more positive than negative. Extending this argument we can say that parents would have handled their younger kids better. Hence the younger siblings should have better impression of their parents.
Personally, for any given situation, the way I react today will be very different from how I would have reacted few years ago. It had taken me a long time to supress the kid in me. The outlook of finance, life, insecurities of life all has changed. I have lots of regrets in life right from how I could have done more for family, community and how I could have been more generous in certain situations. However I am more worried about what impact I leave on children due to my own inadequacies.
It was a typical cold winter morning when I drove my 12-13 old son to the near by ski area. We were well prepared all dressed up. He had developed a new interest in skiing and I was excited about it. I personally do not like venturing out in that weather and especially wearing layers and layers of cloth and wearing those heavy ski boots. I was well prepared with my laptop , wifi connection and bag of snacks to keep me going till the evening. The kid was having fun and I watched him for few minutes and got right back into my cyber world having opinions about everything right from presidential politics to situation in middle east.
It was around 3.30 – 4.00 pm when the kid returned will all energy and joy but I was done for the day and wanted to go home and watch football game. He jumped at me and wanted to show everything , I acted polite. Then he insisted on going out to near by slope to show me something , I protested a little bit but went along. It was cold soggy and there were no easy way to reach the place he wanted to go to. My reluctance to indulge in this increased exponentially, however the kid was full of energy and was pushing me to find a way. I snapped, I do not exactly remember what I said but I was really rude. I cooled down quickly and tried to go again but the damage was done. I quenched the enthusiasm and energy from the young spirit and he tried for few minutes and then gave up and insisted on going back to the car. I felt sad and sorry but something else was bothering me. It took me couple of days before I realized that all my son was so excited and wanted to show me what he learnt that day and was finding a way to reach the slope. I was not willing to listen and did not try to have a conversation to understand either. I was being a robot, I got you here my job is done, my next job is to take you safely back home. I was being an ass. We missed the next two years and did not go to the slope, mostly due to my laziness and partly due to his reluctance to insist. Now he is a senior and ready to leave home for the college. Even when I offered to take him to skiing he does not have time now. The innocense and age would not come back again.
I am very careful about how I respond now which benefits the younger one. I am more measured and watch out my emotions and eccentricities. I am sorry my son, I was not a great dad that day but I hope I have made up for that somewhere else. Hoping that I am leaving more positive impressions on you and helping you to upgrade yourself. To my wife, kids, sister, brothers, mom, dad nieces, nephews, and my friends, if you thought I was insensitive or did not behave my best at any time, please forgive me. I might not have got the upgrade needed for that moment. If I am still behaving that way then talk to me about your perception and help me to upgrade for this moment or who knows I might help you to upgrade too.