In my previous post, I observed how wonderful children are in their ability to learn new things; and, more importantly, their ability to divine from context the meaning of strange or new concepts to their young, agile minds. Children really do exemplify the hopes of our race.
I'm reminded of this each time I watch children at play. No matter how sad I'm feeling, or lonely, or just downright dejected at the events of my life, sitting off to the side in a large social gathering where children are present, observing them interact and play with one another, I find myself so happy and feeling alive in spite of things. It's truly remarkable!
Try it sometime.
Children are the most beautiful achievements we humans are capable of creating. Nothing else equals the seemingly simple act of procreation, the process by which we pass on our genes and ensure the future survival of our species. And although it now appears as if I will never get to experience the joy of having my own children--something that has recently provided me with a great source of unending agony and misery--I can't deny that I love children. I'm one of those people that find babies beautiful no matter their superficial features, and am always on the lookout for their well-being and happiness. I loathe anyone who can harm a child, or bring to them sadness.
I especially hate it when I see parents mistreating their kids in public. It gets me so angry! At those times I feel that these are people who do not deserve to have children. Cursing kids out and ridiculing them in public? What kind of man or woman are you that you would treat your own issue in such a way? Fucking despicable!
For me, it seems profoundly unfair that such people are allowed to have children, and yet someone like me cannot. At least, I don't think I will in this lifetime. Perhaps someday I might meet that special someone willing to go through this journey with me, and hopefully I am not too old for the process by that time. I'm turning 40 later this year, after all, so I still have around 10 - 20 more years for it to happen. Don't think I will want to by the time I'm 50, though---but who knows!
Still, in the meantime, I'll continue to be the doting "uncle" of several of my friends' own children. A position I cherish and honor, and love being in, but which gives me endless opportunities to regret the turns in my own life that have prevented me from experiencing parenthood the way they have.
As I watch children at play, I think of all their potential. I see in them all the ways they are living a better childhood than the one I had. All my friends are doing standout jobs of raising their children in the most loving and nurturing manner possible. This makes me so happy to see! And I vow to always protect these children in my own special way, too. I love them as if they are my own, and will never allow harm to come to them. And if my plight is to watch the children of my friends grow up to adulthood while never having any of my own ... it is my privilege nonetheless. They have taught me so many wonderful lessons about humanity, and continue to do so. In their eyes I see the endless possibilities of their futures unfold. I see that they will achieve far more than I ever could, and this I feel is as it should be.
You know, I'm reminded of that one song by the great Louis Armstrong. You know it, too. It's called "What a Wonderful World." Listen to it by clicking here, if you'd like.
Whenever I hear this song, one particular passage manages to elicit tears each and every time. I swear, it's like clockwork! I don't know why, but it always hits me right in the feels. This part right here:
"I hear babies crying,
I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more,
Than I'll never know . . ."
Oh my god -- waterworks!
Am I just a great, dumb fool for getting so emotional over this? I don't know. But although they're tears, they are happy ones. For me, nothing makes me happier than witnessing little ones gradually becoming not so tiny, smarty pants people! Watching children, you can sometimes--almost!--literally see their minds learning and becoming better. The rate at which they assimilate new concepts and observations about the world around them is astonishing. Truly a wonder to behold.
And this is why I say we ought to cherish our children. I know that's a corny line somewhere, but it happens to be no less true. They remind me of the greatness in us all. They make me want to believe in humanity and all that we have yet to achieve.
Children bring hope for the future.