Saturday, September 28, 2013

A never drying well!

A child is like dough. You can shape it, mold it, spread it thin or just stick in one place. Dough is the base of most food just like children are the foundation of our society.
Your child is a malleable outcome of your own work, so why don’t you make a “chef d’oeuvre” out of him?

As an aunt to two kids and a non-biological aunt to six others (my close cousins' children), I watched babies grow. I told stories, played games, made pinky promises and put them to sleep. I even changed diapers!
And as a teacher and an observer of a child’s development, I had daily contact with kids. I've seen confidence, weakness and sorrow in the small eyes of my students. I was able to see through each one’s face and dive deep inside to read them.
And after five years of teaching, I can spot strong personalities, developed characters and intelligence. However, I’m afraid I’m able to recognize mashed beings, crushed identities as well as undiscovered cleverness. [For I believe that each person is smart in his own way.]

Then I came to realize that there seems to be an error or a malfunction in the way we raise our offsprings. I may not have the right to judge since I got no babies of my own, but I’m certain that a baby needs LOTS and LOTS of time, affection and awareness.
Each word he hears will change him. Hurtful things will not be forgotten even after decades. Therefore, ensure that your child’s well is dug too deep so it never runs dry, no matter how many people drink off it.

Locate your child’s source of joy.
Teach your kid that his OWN happiness comes first! He was not born to please others or to be up to any person’s expectations.
Let his contentment generate from within him, and not be dependent on anybody or anything.
So if it makes him happy to wear green with red, even if he’d look like a Lebanese flag, be it!
And keep in mind that he is not your lottery ticket. He is not there to make your most absurd dreams come true. Therefore, allow him to create his own.

Fuel your kid’s confidence engine.
Train your kid to call himself beautiful and to smile at his own reflection in a mirror. Coach him to count his blessings rather than pointing out his flaws. Make sure he knows he’ll go places.
If he doesn't believe in himself, don’t expect others to do so.

Build up his wall against criticism.
Lecture him that when he enters a room full of people, he is the one to wonder whether he likes them and NOT whether they like him.
Educate him that no matter what he does, people are going to criticize anyway, so he might as well be comfortable in his own skin.

Hang his safety net for him to fall on.
Open his eyes on your beliefs and strengthen his faith (no matter what religion, sect or group you belong to). A kid who lacks spirituality will always have hollowness in his chest and will be easily defeated when facing a simple obstacle. Practise what you preach though. Show him that it’s a daily effort. But remember not to overdo it because more is less!

Hand him a red marker to correct himself.
When he makes a mistake, never try to erase it because he should learn from his own faux pas. Instead, leave him to correct his faults. Life offers many chances and so should you.

Put your red cape on!
Be his superhero. Not by having powers or muscles but by having manners.
                Even if you’re having the worst day ever, even if you’re stuck in the city’s crazy traffic, don’t use big words. There is nothing worse than hearing a child repeat insults. Think of a 5 year old rapping one of Kanye West’s song. That’s about the same thing.
                Keep your promises. If you lie once, your kid will be able to smell your next lie from across the globe. And then you’ll lose his trust.
                Be silly together, laugh giddily, enjoy the little stuff and always do things for the first time.

So if you’re a parent, get off the internet and go spend time with your little ones. And if you’re married, go make some babies and make use of this blog post. But if you’re neither, just lie down on the couch or take a nap, cherish what you have in place, because it just won’t last forever.
Syrian kids playing with as little as they got!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chasing butterflies or investing in a bee hive?

As a newborn, when you first laid eyes on your mother, you discovered love. Growing up, you realize that love isn’t only limited to your family. There are several kinds. And each and every one takes up a separate place in your heart. 

With age, you know that you can adore your Mom & Dad, love your siblings, get along pretty well with your friends, admire your teachers and laugh endlessly with your cousins.

Through my 25 years on this planet, I came to a point where I encountered an unconditional and an insatiable love. It was towards my niece and nephew. It was a brand new type, something that comes from within you and moves you immensely. It felt as if my heart has swollen, gotten bigger to give them room inside it.

Yet, the “love” that people always talk about seems to be a constant quest.
We all worry about ending up alone, miserable.
We all fear that we might miss the train. And we all regret having let go at a certain point in time.

But one question remains. And this is how I like to put it.
Would you rather chase butterflies or invest in a bee hive?

Butterflies elude you the more you chase them. However, it is an indescribable feeling when a butterfly lands on your palm and gives you that tingling sensation. And only there and then, you can admire its beauty and colors. But how long will it stay? Will it even ever come?
Many people wait for ages to find that one person who can charge their electricity and who can chain them chemically.

Others, on the other hand, prefer to build a bee hive. For it is far beyond organized. It represents stability and structure. And for me, it symbolizes the relationship that is overruled by the mind.

But why do people decide to go with their minds as they get more mature? Maybe because they were hurt so many times and they had to pick up their pieces every time their hearts got involved. Perhaps they learnt that butterflies will fly away and all that lingers are memories of emotions and colors.

Relationships don’t abide by any rules. And love definitely knows no boundaries. So my take on this is, that it’s okay to have weak knees around a particular person, and it is normal to admit that they make others look pale comparing to him/her. And it is completely fine to let your mind wander all day and night. IF, and only IF, you also make his/her feet feel like Jello, IF you are the only one they see and IF dreaming about you makes them want to sleep.

Life is full of mediocre things. Love should NOT be one of them.
Photo by Randa Al Merehby.