Into The Time Capsule: A Letter To You, The Overwhelmed Parent of A Soon-To-Be Grown-Up

To You,
who is  overwhelmed enough to browse through this pile of memories,

 

It’s easy to forget that your children will shortly grow into their own people. When that happens, you will no longer know everything about their life, interests, love, fears, hopes—about what truly makes them as a person. They will hide secrets from you, not because they do something wrong or intend to leave you out, but because every person has privacy. You will not be able to drop them to classes (or even know fully what classes they are taking!). They will be half a mystery. And then you fear they will forget you. Leave you out entirely, as if their lives wasn’t built on something you have given wholly, unconditionally. But it’s not true. They still think of you, maybe in hardships, late nights, or even later in their lives, but for now when it’s time for them to see and experience the world, give them the permission to do it.

If you think about it, it’s probably the same as them not knowing who you really are. The difference is that you didn’t come out of them. But as somebody who were once the whole world for them, you have always been more than half a mystery to them. You might have told them stories from your younger days, but stories consist of memory (which we all know too well are mostly changed, erased, or fabricated) and your own desire to right the wrong. They weren’t there to see you screw up, and they weren’t there to see you grow up. Yes, you told them stuff—lessons, mostly, but it’s not the same as watching you do it. You don’t really tell them the whole story about your love life (not looking at you, Ted Mosby), and you didn’t tell them about the mediocre days, where you slept the whole day not doing anything productive. So, to be fair, you are a lot more mysterious to them.

But, here’s what’s interesting: they have never felt like they have lost you from the beginning. They might have never thought about it that way, anyhow. They made do with what was given—the You with all the scars and blooms, not knowing why they exist and for what.

It’s now time to do it the other way around: to make do with what will be taken away by default—their growing up into their own people with all the scars and blooms. And you don’t really have to know why they exist and for what. If they can go through their whole life up till now not knowing the beginning (the very miracles that brought them to the world), at least you can try to go through some part of your life not knowing the whole ending.

We all should accept.

 

 

Bandung, 8 April 2016
Young Indiena,
who is overwhelmed enough about everything to remind You of this

 

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