We drive up Young Avenue on our way to Point Pleasant Park. I have spoken of this particular avenue before, Gentle Reader, many years ago- we walked through it daily, on the way to the Princess’s daycare centre, and she was dazzled by the stately castle-like mansions lining each side. Six years on, and she still glances at them appreciatively, informing us of her desire to purchase one as her future residence. A testimony to the granite, unchanging nature of human desires, once they are formed at an early, impressionable age. I sigh. As a marxist mother, it can be safely said I am a failure. No matter how much of I talk of cleaners, unequal wealth distribution and social inequality, she still dreams of large fancy house.
But I am not the only one who derides ostentation. The Golden Boy, after listening carefully to the description of the Princess’s future dwelling, responds with his own dream:
-When I grow up, I am going to live in the mountains, in an eagle’s nest.
A slightly stunned silence greets this remark. It is too outre, even for the Golden Boy. He thinks a bit more, and then adds “But I will have a microwave too, so I can cook hotdogs for myself”.
Moments like these, Gentle reader, and I realise how futile are those who blame parents for the shortcomings and failures of children. Only recently there was a random news item on a young lady suing her parents, and one and all, the mighty Voice of the Internet blamed her parents for raising an entitled prat. I think that is ridiculous, when I see the gigantic differences amongst my children, or amongst any siblings raised under similar circumstances, to think parents are wholly responsible for what their child does or fails to do. Nurture provides a veneer of respectability, and teaches children how to behave, how to say please and thank you. But the beast within, nature, snarls and growls, and when the time is right, it will come out.