Thursday, 12 February 2015

My Children

Last night, or rather yesterday afternoon, I had guests over, Katherine's sister and brother-in-law. Ostensibly they were here to see how I make wine. I suspect they were somewhat surprised when I had them in there doing the making for me. I love it when I can co-opt help from those with no experience. The experience itself makes for a lot of fun.

After starting the wine on its first ferment, setting it up so the happy little yeast cells can eat sugar and poop out alcohol, we sat around the table testing previously made wines and eating snacks. In the midst of all of this, my daughter, Kate, arrived. She stepped right in, making terrific conversation, creating laughter, having fun. I was immensely proud of her, thinking to myself what a great skill she had, to walk into a room full of strangers so much older than her, gain their confidence so quickly, and make them feel so much at ease.

I am proud of all my children. You might think, "Of course, you should be proud of your children." I am not proud of them because they are my children, nor do I think they are wonderful because they sprung from my loins. I am proud of my children because of who they are, simply because I see them to be wonderful human beings, the kind of people that I am proud to say are my children. I think my children are the kind of people this world needs to see more of, the kind of people that I would be proud to have in my life, were I to have to opportunity to live longer.

This is not to say I believe my children are perfect; far from it. They suffer from the same foibles of humanity as to the rest of us. They are young, in their 20's and early 30's. They see the world through their lens of inexperience, through the filter of belief in their own "rightness". It is only the young who can live with such certainty in what they think and do. As we age and grow in experience, and ultimately, wisdom, we begin to see far more in things, many more shades of grey where once we saw black and white. I love them for their humanity, that they know they are a part of a larger world, that they can make a difference.

What makes me proud of my children is their compassion; I see it in each of them. What makes me proud of my children is their wit; they all have a fair bit of that. What makes me proud of my children is their ambition; some days it may not be completely evident but I know its there and I see it on a regular basis. What makes me proud of my children is their dedication to family, especially those who now have children of their own.

I once said to a friend that I will leave so little behind when I die. There will be no great works of art, no powerful acts of politics, no impact on history. My friend said back to me, "You have a great legacy; your children, your blog, the people you have touched." My children are my legacy, my great work of history and change. They, each of them, are a wonder to me and I am proud to know them.

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