blog > 2014 > April

Lessons of a new parent. #2: Reciprocity by Misha Lyuve

Apr 29, 2014

This post is a part of Lessons of a new parent cycle. (If you missed, here is Lesson of a new parent. #1 – Happiness)

Lesson #2: Reciprocity – relationship with your child, as any other relationship, has elements of give and take; pay attention to what you are taking.

It was a fairly cold February day during my paternity leave. Myself I wouldn’t even consider going out in such cold unless I really had to. But with the kids, there was hardly a question in my head – the kids loved being (or to be more precise, sleeping) outside.

As usual, Central Park embraced me with its winter solemn beauty and, on a cold day like this, it was desolate – very much to my liking. On the way home I reflected on how much I enjoyed this walk and arrived to the following question: while it seemed like I took my daughters for a walk, was it in reality visa versa – were they the ones taking me out?
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It is common to think about parenting as something one gives: whether it is food, comfort, entertainment or education; while a reward comes in a form of a child’s response (from a smile to an acknowledgement) or an accomplishment (from the  first step to college graduation.) But that walk in the park pointed me to a much more profound parent-child relationship exchange.

When my kids request my attention, I find ways to engage them; but in return they provide me with entertainment, and let me assure you, it’s top notch. On the surface it might seem that I am there to teach them something, but truthfully in this short time my kids have shared with me most profound lessons. They started even before I met them during my adoption journey and continue to this day (thus Lessons of a new parent). And on top as you already know, they take me on awesome walks.

When I acknowledged this reciprocity, the relationship with my children became that much deeper and more fulfilling. Notice what your children give you.

RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez by Misha Lyuve

Apr 18, 2014

…they no longer felt like newlyweds, and even less like belated lovers. It was as if they had lept over the arduous cavalry of conjugal life and gone straight to the heart of love. They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez “Love in the Time of Cholera”