Warning: this is a personal blog entry, with no tech content other than name dropping Lisp.
Today has been an odd day. This morning my sister in law came over to look after our children (school holidays) with my niece. She is ~14 months, and just a cute little gem. Reminds me of my two children at that stage. Not that they are not gems, they just aren’t at the tiny and dependant, but still just starting to show free will. Mine now have a lot of free will. Once at work I looked at some pictures my mother had given me on a USB key. I had thought the pictures were of my sisters wedding, turned out to be my parents wedding and early family photos.
I had seen the real photos before, but when they are full screen, the detail is more obvious. The thing that struck me was how beautiful my parents were. I mean they still are, but they have always looked older, and I have no problem with how they look, and the fact I’ll look just the like them. The thing the overwhelmed me, was how they had looked before I knew them. It was how I’ve always seen myself, young. Besides that point I look so like my father, but it’s the idea, that we all have been young and we all age slowly.
Seeing photo’s of my brothers and sisters as small things, they were all easily identifiable. Seeing how my parents were glowing at their children, one of which was me, reminds me of how I feel when I look at my children.
I’d doing nearly anything for them. It’s then that you get your parents did do everything for you. You realize how much love your parents have always had for you.
When it felt like they were telling you off, they were just trying to warn you, or try to help you avoid making the painful life mistakes they made. But you can’t listen, or can’t understand where they are coming from. This dilemma I struggle with my children, how do I help them avoid pain? Because you never want them to suffer pain, but they don’t hear you intention.
Recently I have been learning a new paradigm of programming. LISP via Lisp In a Box, and once you get how lambda functions work, and why you they add power, how macros work, or how run time optimization via expression trees adds huge value (that bits from C# 3.0), you notice you are on the other side of the knowledge gap. Pre-jump people can tell you about the gap, but if you are not open to learning, you hear yada yada, and if your open but haven’t got it yet, you only know there is something you don’t know. But once you get it, you just get it. It makes sense.
When Matt and I were flying back from Montreal, on the Chicago -> L.A. flight we had some VERY loud late-teens. They talked on for 40+ minutes, about how their mother was a martyr for staying behind (it was just before Christmas) with the grandmother. Even though that is not what the mother individually wanted to do. The two late-teens, couldn’t get why mum, didn’t just do what she wanted. Just like they have been doing in their life up till that point. They didn’t understand that staying with grandmother, may feel like an honour compared to a chore.
While looking after your parents, may be trying and involve keeping people who are old and tired happy, it’s something I look forward to with pride. I look forward to repaying the effort my parents invested in me. Not out of a feeling of dept, but out of gratitude.
This was part of what the photo’s helped me get today. I feel happy to be on this side of the family gratitude gap.