The words uttered by my older son during one of our game of badminton.
We were playing an informal game of badminton . The boy had been taken lessons from his primary school for the first 2 years and decided to stop thereafter . On occasions , he had requested to play the game . Last week was one of those . He had improved with smashes and had better reaction than before . So much so , I can have a decent round or two with him. I am no pro but he had become playable.
In jest I asked "Hey you are improving , maybe you should continue."
He let slipped that he had taken a test for the game and scored at the higher range . So I prodded , "Why don't you continue ?"
His reply was "I want to be regular."
For a moment I was too stunned to reply.
As parents it is natural to want the best for your kids . You want them to the best in class , master of all trades and number 1 . So when a statement about wanting to be regular comes along , it was hard not to reply in protest . In my head I had already laid out the best motivating speech ever to say to my 9 year old firstborn.
Then I bit my tongue before I could reply.
A thought ran across my head faster than words could be spouted from my mouth.
There is no wrong in his answer.
Standing before me is a kid who is unfazed by an overt pressure to succeed , he is someone who just want to be like everyone else. He does not crave to be number one , there is no vicious desire to outshine his mates , no devious plans to back stab others to be the best . What is before me is an honest kid who just want to live life as it comes .Someone who truly know to live and not to be govern by society's standard . Rather he chose to live life as one should, by his own pace and standards.
To think I almost open my big mouth and distort his thinking . I had harboured ambitions and pinned my dreams of successes that I never had on him . It was unfair parenting at its best.
One of the best things my parents did was to leave me to my own devices . There was no pressure on the type of education I choose or the career path I undertaken . They had quietly supported me in my decisions . I may not shine , I may not be the best out there , I may even be sub regular . Life goes on and I turn out fine .
Given the constant pressure by society to succeed , the last thing my child needs is a pushy and all demanding dad . I just need to let him grow on his own , build his own character, let him be regular and love him regardless.
He taught me a lesson that day...
Learn to be comfortable in your own skin and not let society dictate the person you are meant to be.
I just need kick back , relax and learn to be a regular dad.