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Saturday, 27 July 2013

To those who have disowned a child

It’s 4:36 am and I’ve just finished giving my five month old baby boy his bottle. I’m sitting the light of my computer with him on my arm, waiting for him to fall asleep. Sometimes, this can take an hour, but I enjoy these moments since it’s the only part of the day the house is completely silent.

Sometimes my son looks up at me, and I can see the brown color of his eyes battling the dark blue that still hold supremacy. Sometimes, he even gives me a little smile, but today he simply sleeps lightly on my arm, and if I move, he’ll wake. So I stay and wait, writing this post with one hand.

I have two sons, and I love them both more than life itself. My two year old is currently learning to talk and how to behave; and my girlfriend and I feel the full effect of what some people call ‘the terrible twos’ – that boy has a loud voice, and his tantrums can make a deaf man cringe.

Still, just looking at my boys makes me melt. When my two year old doesn’t want to sleep and throws his pacifier behind the bed, I struggle not to smile when I see his mischievous grin. It’s hard being a daddy, but the love I feel from my children is worth every tantrum and sleepless night. I’ll love them both unconditionally, no matter what.

As a father, I can’t possibly understand how anyone can disown their children. I’ve been reading stories online about people who have lost friends and family because they were either gay or because they simply chose the be honest about their lack of faith.

I makes me want to ask, what kind of parent would hate his own child, for a reason in which the child has no power? Homosexuality is not a choice but a genetic abnormality. One does not chose to become a homosexual, and one does not chose to become an atheist either. If you don’t believe, but only pretend that you are. Does that make you a true Christian or a true Muslim anyway? Do children of fundamental religious parents really have to lie about who they are? Do they really have to continue down that sick and twisted path of an unhappy life, or should they expose themselves as who they a really are and come into the open. Isn’t honesty a virtue?

If you are a religious parent and you’re reading this, don’t you want your child to be happy? Does religion really mean that much to you that you are willing to condemn your child to a lifetime of unhappiness? If so, as a parent I find you truly despicable. Your children does not have a choice in who they are, and no matter how much you try to delude yourself; you can’t change them – especially not by hating or disowning them.

Hate and fear only create gaps between you and your child. But love and respect builds bridges of understanding that allows you to find that golden road you both can walk on. For centuries, people have lived in secret or in shame because of who or what they were. It’s time to let go of fear and move on.

I guess all of us have hopes and dreams for what our children will become. However, we as parents must remember that each child is an individual with its own thoughts and emotions. All we can do is the present the best we possess, and hope that our children will pick it up.  

No child is perfect, and neither are we as parents. I have not yet faced the challenge of letting go of the reigns, and I can imagine that task to be hard. But at some point, we must trust our children to do the right thing. Even if we think it is wrong, we must show them support and be the rock they can lean on when times are tough. That is how we prove our virtues and beliefs are true.

How can you expect your child to follow you if you act with fear or hatred? How can you prove that your virtues are true when you don’t offer support? How can you neglect that child that once sat on your arm, smiling and laughing at you?

Ask yourself; is the fear or hate really worth it?

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” – 1 John 4:18