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Thank Goodness He’s So...

Thank Goodness He’s So Ungrateful

Graham does not appreciate a damn thing I do for him.

He doesn’t appreciate that most days I spend my lunch hours running errands so I can devote my time after work to playing hide and seek or kicking the soccer ball around or going to the park even though I’m usually so tired I just want to collapse on the couch.

He doesn’t appreciate the effort I put into providing healthy and tasty food, fun and educational toys and books, and stylish and comfortable clothing. He doesn’t appreciate that he lives in a lovely house with a huge yard and a pool and, more importantly, that he has two devoted parents who love each other, four healthy grandparents who dote on him and a huge, loving extended family

He doesn’t appreciate that his father has introduced him to movie stars and that his grandfather is a bush pilot and that his mother has already started an account to fund his future travel and educational pursuits.

He clearly feels that he is due the terms of endearment, the gentle admonishments, the tender snuggles and the loving kisses that rain on him daily like manna from above.

Graham has absolutely no clue how incredibly lucky he is.

And I’m glad.

I am glad that Graham assumes every child in the world is loved as well as he is. I’m glad that he knows nothing of illness and stress and work, of friendships that end and nerves that fray and people who change. I’m glad that he knows nothing of the million and one mundane details of daily life that conspire to wear adults down.

It is with a strange mixture of envy and frustration and joy that I watch my son skip through his days, oblivious to the suffering in the world and indeed, at times, in his own home. There are times when the child in me feels staggered by the unfairness inherent in his oblivion but then I remind myself that it wasn’t always so: it wasn’t until my adulthood that I understood the difficulties my parents endured throughout my childhood.

And that’s the way it should be, ideally. Isn’t that one of the reasons we have children? Bouts of uncertainty and worry and stress are inevitable for every adult: at least parents who suffer them have the satisfaction of watching someone they love and care for enjoy blissful ignorance.

I know that Graham will not pass through life without experiencing bouts of uncertainty and worry and stress: ultimately I would not want him to. They are parts of life just as surely as is the unqualified happiness he experiences now. And besides everyone knows that in order for someone to really appreciate the good in life, they have to suffer the bad.

But Graham has yet to suffer the bad and thus Graham is completely unappreciative of how good he has it now.

Graham does not appreciate a damn thing I do for him.

And for now I am both grateful for, and proud of, that.

Originally published on DonMillsDiva

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