An Idealized Child

Our sorrow is often a measure of the distance between our idealized vision of reality and its actual form. So it was that in the days of the Old Testament prophet Haggai, when the foundation was laid for the new temple, that as some rejoiced, others wept. They wept when the awareness dawned that their idealized vision for the temple was not going to be matched by reality.

This is the cause of so much sorrow in marriages. A husband or wife brings an idealized vision of their spouse and of marital bliss into a relationship that cannot be matched by reality. When the distance between the reality and the dream becomes unavoidable, sorrow sets in.

So, could it be that many of our children feel an almost telepathic sense of disappointment from us, their parents, because our idealized vision of what we think they should be is unattainable for them?

So many parents are certain that everyone else has children who are more compliant/intelligent/athletic/cooperative/accomplished than their own. And the more pervasive this idea, the greater the gap between this idealized vision of their children and the reality of who those children really are. By so doing, many of us can miss the beauty that is our children.

Those who have children with Aspergers Syndrome, or know those who do, will especially appreciate the honesty and insight of this article, written by journalist Ron Fournier. His conclusion which is valid for every parent is this:

I learned that while Tyler was not my idealized son, he was the ideal one.

For our children to know such acceptance from us, their parents, should be our deep, compelling desire. When we can love the children God has given us, and not the idealized image which they can never attain, we will give them the greatest gift we could bestow.

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