02 April 2015

Parents impossible, grandparents possible

Pic courtesy www.publicdomainpics.net
This is the twenty sixth article in a series I am writing for the JEANS section of 'The Nation'.  The series is for children. Adults consider yourselves warned...you might re-discover a child within you! Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

They get on your nerves don’t they?  Parents, I mean.  They are always making rules.  They are always saying ‘no’ and ‘don’t’.  They even put conditions: ‘if you don’t do this, you won’t get that’ or ‘if you do it you will not get that’.  You get it don’t you?

They always treat you as though you don’t have a mind of your own.  They think you can’t think for yourself.  You would probably remember them saying day in and day out, month after month and year after year, ‘you are too young to understand’.  They are so incorrigible that you ask yourself often ‘when will they let me be, when will they let me do my thing, when will they decide finally that I am old enough to understand?’  And after some time you give up. 

You decide that parents are impossible.  You decide that they are way behind the times.  You tell yourself, ‘they are too old to understand’.

Grandparents on the other hand are different.  They are easy.  In fact you feel that although they are older and are relatives who should be respected they are nevertheless more like friends.  Parents are not friends, though.  Right?   They are often like school teachers who happen to live under the same roof.  Grandparents are different.  They don’t say ‘we know what’s good for you, so shut up!’  In fact on occasion they would even give you something or let you do something that would horrify your parents.  Grandparents are cool.  Parents are not.  They are parents. We love them.  They give us things and take care of us.  But they are not cool.  Not in the way grandparents are cool.

But have you ever watched parents when they are with your grandparents?  Do you remember what parents have told you about their parents?  They won’t say ‘our parents were cool,’ but they probably won’t say ‘amma just doesn’t understand!’  Even if they did say such things it is not as frequently as you say it, right? 

Something happens when someone becomes a parent.  All of a sudden they realize what their own parents went through bringing them up.  And at the same time they forget that they were once children who said to themselves ‘parents just don’t get it’. 

But let’s forget parents and grandparents for a moment.   Yes, ‘a moment’.  Let’s say this moment will last just 60 seconds.  Let it be 7.47 every night.  Let’s say you spend those 60 seconds thinking about your totally un-cool parents who just don’t get it.  Let’s say you spend the first 55 seconds thinking about all the cool things they could have done but didn’t.  Could you spare 5 seconds to think about something, anything, that your parents did which made you glad that they are part of your life? 

Children are cool, that’s a fact.  Grandparents are way cooler than parents, yes.   In fact parents might not be cool at all.  They probably deserve that moment, though.  Remember, 7.47  every night, ok?

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