Saturday, September 27, 2008

ATTACHMENT - Peter Waring

1. Picture this. A small boy, twenty months of age with big blue eyes sobbing as he clings to the wire fence enclosing his playgroup - searching and calling for his father while his father watches painfully from a distance, wanting to comfort his boy but knowing he should not.

This has been my life for the last month as my son Jack has begun a new playgroup in Singapore. Parents are instructed to stay with their children for the first half hour of the three hour session and then quietly withdraw to the safe distance of a nearby cafe. So far, each session has begun well and ended badly, with Jack picking up his small bag and heading for the gate within the first hour. It has proved to be the most difficult challenge I have yet faced as a parent to see him distressed and yet resist the temptation to run to him. I'm not sure which of us is suffering the most! The experience underscores my absolute love for him and the vulnerability that comes with being a parent.

My wife's cousin died in his early twenties - I still remember his parent's faces on the day of the funeral - etched with a grief they have never really overcome. I can't and never want to imagine having to deal with that kind of pain but ultimately the bond between parent and child evokes the possibility of both extreme happiness and suffering.

2. Thankfully I'm 'secure' - but I had a good intuitive sense of this in any case.

3. Probably only my son. I would like to also think my wife but she is fiercely capable and independent in every respect.

4. My interpretation of this may be inaccurate but I think there is a sliver of truth in Chuck's statement Sometimes we don't view challenges in our life through the prism of the longer term and perhaps more rational perspective. What seems important to us in the moment and which causes suffering, may, with the passage of time and a more rational outlook, appear just a little silly. Though I also agree with 'Bianca' - Chuck's turn of phrase obfuscates rather than clarifies.

5. I think this is a great question Rick and I moved by Bianca's response to it. I have a strong internal locus of control but I still believe that we can't control, everything. Life sometimes throws us curve balls and how how we deal with these is a measure of the strength of our characters. Life is about getting kicked in the teeth occasionally but what matters is how quickly we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down. Recently both my sister and brother have separated from their partners and have had to contemplate radical changes to their life plans. I think this kind of 'de-construction' is part of the pattern of life - but let's face it, without 'de-construction' and 're-construction' life might be pleasant but also dull.

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