As humans we like to use labels. If something doesn’t quite fit it’s label or category, we regard it with suspicion, or even fear. This has led to all sorts of problems over the course of history, with society attacking anyone who doesn’t ‘fit’. Despite this, we haven’t learned from our mistakes and still try to categorise everyone and everything. We even apply labels to ourselves. These labels generally seem to sum up what we surround ourselves with or what we do.
Who am I?
I would generally answer this question with a few meaningless statements.
I am scatterbrainedlass. I am a farm worker. I am wife to DH and mother to T. These are labels I use to identify myself to strangers. However, to people who know me, I am more than this. I am my characteristics. I am my strengths and weaknesses, my likes and dislikes, my fears and my triumphs.
When I look at my sleeping son and wonder ‘Who will you be?’ I am not wondering what job he will have when he’s older, or whether he has a university education or a nice car. I wonder how he will interact with others. DH and I play a game where we come up with a career choice for T when he does something. For example, he is fascinated by moving parts, so we say ‘Oh, he’ll be an engineer.’ Or he watches a group of piglets with rapt attention, so ‘He’ll be a farmer.’
I am curious to know what career path he will choose, but it’s really not important. What is important is WHO he is, what characteristics he shows. I hope that he will be gentle, compassionate, strong, trustworthy and full of integrity. Anything else really is an added bonus. He is already starting to show glimpses of his nature, and I can see a cheeky, headstrong, independent boy. Unfortunately, that is genetic!
As I watch him I wonder whether my parents did the same with me. Did they have dreams and aspirations for me? Did I fulfil them? The best parents are the ones who stand back and allow their children to forge their own path in life, but who support them the whole way. I can confidently label my own parents as the best. Maybe I didn’t achieve greatness in my life, but I know they don’t mind. I am happy, and that is all that matters to them. How do I know this? Because that is all I want for my own child.