Old Moon

Monday, April 9, 2012

Trying to Avoid Hubris

Waiting for the turkey
I wonder if other grandparents are as amazed and delighted as I am in the past couple of years by a couple of my grandchildren. Both are juniors in college. Both have driven me long distances. I've always found confinement to a car for hours on end can be a good incubator for sprouting verbalized reflections. One of these is male, the other female. I've felt distinct embarrassment while listening to them because I can't avoid making mental comparisons to myself (as I remember me) at their age, and it's not a happy recollection.

These young people seem to have built-in radar that enables them not only to see into the problems, hangups, and ambitions of their contemporaries, they seem able to imagine approaches to problems to alleviate them. Their ability to empathize is astonishing to me, who normally see only what shows at holiday reunions overshadowed by food and drink and joviality. They talked without embarrassment of emotions and worries we were in the habit of hiding with the greatest possible care. Now I can't remember if this was deliberately taught, or if we just absorbed the culture to which we were exposed. Over and over again, I think,  If only I'd been as wise as they are already, even when I was twice their age!

This phenomenon doubtless has a good deal to do with the character of the respective institutions in which they're students. That's what my grandson claims, but I think it's more than that. My temptation is to hope that some of it they learned from their parents, who were our children. We've always been proud of them, but could it possibly be that our example helped to make them, and hence their children, so seemingly precocious?


roughwighting said...

Yes, I tend to believe that the glorious that you see in your grandchildren are reflections of your parenting. And of YOU.

JLC said...

...and what we hoped for while we waited for the first one to appear!mDon't know why I never thought of that before.