Now, try not to ruin it!
Being a designer I ought to know not to attempt at redesigning an already perfect design. As a parent I hope I have succeeded in keeping my hands off enough.
As I see it, I've created three really exceptional designs. I must admit it has been in collaboration with my husband.
I'm writing this because right now, in the beginning of March we'll celebrate the eighteenths anniversary of our first co-production - a live and kicking man cub. I have babied numerous ideas that made it into production. But my children are certainly the most precious creations I have nurtured.
Today our oldest is taller than his dad. Once a nameless, hairless, helpless bundle handled over to me to care for - for life I realised - thus feeling more helpless than the baby even looked.
Although, I was wrong in assuming that he was nameless. It turns out that the minute his dad held him in his arms, he decided to name him after himself. But let me assure you that the next two times I was prepared and at the ready with names so we wouldn't have four Sig's in the family. Never underestimate the bonding moment between fathers and babies!
Today, the dad already a tall man, will be kissed upon the forehead by his, at times, affectionate son. Mothers aren't kissed that much these days. I guess I have to live off the signs of affection accumulated during the first sixteen years. And I can do that, easily, I find. I have observed other young men change back again a little later. I can wait. Mothers wait a lot anyway.
Back to the design. I will not pretend to think I/we could or should
influence the outcome that much. They come as they are. By that I mean,
he is shaped by a remix of our genes, otherwise he his totally himself.
Based on genes and imprint he's destined to repeat certain patterns as
well. But he's free to choose to keep, or change these patterns.
All in all, he is free to choose who to become in life. I hope he has already absorbed that knowledge, as well as the difference between "what to become" and "who to become".
For his eighteen years I find him surprisingly clear;
He doesn't hide who he is. (Nowadays hormonal rush may obscure it, but he doesn't choose that).
He has a big heart in his tall body, and a clear mind in a fast brain.
He has never ever shown signs of jealousy. He is extremely honest and fair minded.
He can express gratitude, will easily forgive you and he detests waste of any sort
He's easily absorbed in complicated tasks and just as easily bored by meaningless tasks.
He also has a fierce temper, but will easily ask forgiveness.
He still enjoys learning and strongly dislikes being taught.
He's a tolerant friend and can explain complicated matters clearly and patiently if he thinks you need it. If he doesn't think you need it, you are brushed off.
He spent much time in his dad's care as a baby. (My work sent me places). Maybe that explains the length of this list.
All these traits were manifested at different stages from an early age. All are good, particularly one at a time. But in combination they don't always make his life that smooth.
He has been an interesting person to be around. Not always easy, certainly never boring and definitely challenging - more often than not in a good way. He has been a child that forced me to expand my attention and knowledge. He has drawn out my worst sides, but also the best.
At his best, these days, he looks like a lean, serene elf from "Lord of the Rings". Tall, with long blond hair in a ponytail. Open, wise, dark eyes under dark eyebrows (listen to this gushing; biased, proud mother).
But I hear and see enough of the other him to normally sound quite moderate in my appraisals. On a normal morning he looks far from wise, due to he fact that his eyes are barely open, and if open, they can be angry as well. He has a loud voice and can be very dominating and acting as supreme in the universe.
However, I see these sides as temporary traits just like disturbed sleeping patterns and total amnesia when it comes to admitting to repeated verbal abuse of mother at wake up times.
I'm sure he will learn to get over the hormone induced temporary traits. I trust life will teach him to adjust the others.
Mothers are often fretting over their inadequacy as parents. Thinking we should have done different, done sooner, done later, done more - but rarely less. I have rethought this.
I now hope I haven't done too much, that I have kept my hands off enough. That I haven't changed a design that is intrinsically good. Because they all are when they are handed over to us.....
And to my son - lets drink a toast to him! - As we live far away from family and old friends I choose to say some words here. - I hope he appreciates that I earnestly try to be hands off! The damnedest difficult thing for a parent to do, designer or not!