This one has nothing to do with Charles Dickens.
I was presumably born unplanned, with all the anxieties of a young mother who was all but 24. She walked alone to the hospital to be told that she was in labour. Under all this mighty pressure of delivering God’s gift, she managed to get through to a neighbour’s landline to convey her situation from a public telephone. I am sure that I have fallen short of her expectations.
My grandmother was old, around 80. She was hard of hearing and incapable of travelling anywhere unescorted. She took care of me in the growing years. I was molly-coddled by her, not to the extent of getting spoiled. However, she was old, so I had my ways when left alone under her supervision. I loved her and still do more than anybody in my life, but I guess she passed away before I could even fathom what her expectations were from me.
I suspect that my father was hunting for a job around this time. He was an engineer and an honourable one. A quality that was revered but had its repercussions on the family. In the later years, my father turned to spirituality. His exacting nature was always a source of uneasiness to me; I blame it on the genes from my mum’s side. I think I could never walk the path that he had expected of me all his life.
My sister always had the better side of life and was lucky for my parents. I believe daughters are a blessing in disguise. She expected help from me, but patriarchy played its hand, and I get blamed for her not having an illustrious career.
Friendship and workmanship are pretty unfamiliar territories. Each is a universe in itself, and sometimes multiple of them operate parallelly, which can be mind-boggling. You will never know the real reason for the existence of the good ones until you face adversity. Well, for the bad ones, it’s always a choice. You are expected to comply at a cost that is yours to bear. The expectation is a given; else, the music is yours to be faced.
I was spared relatives in life, and I have to offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to my father. My father’s one-way communications with most in life had benchmarked the tone of transmission to all related, whether by blood or marriage. THANK LESS were two words he dedicated to this side of his life. I witnessed a few perplexing interactions at a young age, and I still question them. Like I said that I was spared, so thank you, God.
Fortunately, a lady agreed to marry me on promises made by my father. I call it an arranged cum love alliance to avoid being looked down on. I follow the middle path advocated by Lord Buddha, so let’s play in the centre else; this path can be sticky as hell. She has never voiced the title of this article, and her attempts at being reasonable are compelling. Twelve years and no serious complaints from her guess, I should be indebted to Buddha.
Marriage needs love and other reasons to hold onto; my wife was sweet enough to give me two. Five years of conscious difference, but we are still referees, more my wife than me. I love my kids wholly, which is expected as a father but more so to raise them into loving beings.
My daughter is clever, and she knows how to suggest her expectations and deliver them beautifully. Like all daughters for their fathers, she is the twinkle of my eye. A marriage will undoubtedly occur and a good one is expected, ain’t it?
My son recently saw the “Home Alone” series of films, and he demanded a bungalow to be able to have fun as Kevin does. He is a charming boy with some severe allegations which makes me feel like an incompetent father for a couple of days in the month. My self-esteem is taking a beating, and my better half agrees.
Age has nothing to do with it, but I realise that there are two lenses to look at this. One, burdened by expectations, thus trying to make endless endeavours to please everyone around. It may come from an attitude of taking oneself seriously and walking all life without a smile at the mirror.
Second, take it in your stride that expectation is a natural phenomenon, but we should set our expectations as the deliverer. In my resourcefulness with all the love, this is how much I can give, and that’s it. If the resources increase, then so be it. How well the other person uses the delivered resource for their good is not ours to follow.