This is an angst post, so feel free to skip it if you aren't into that - I'll have fresh aviation stuff up soon.
Lisa and I have stopped trying not to have kids. That's exciting, and terrifying at the same time. Normally it's a good thing when her friend comes to visit and I suspect it will take a little while to make the mindset adjustment. I have been thinking about kids lately for a variety of reasons (incidentally what do you guys think about the name "Balthor" for a boy? He could carry a sword!) and it has made me reflect more about the nature of consciousness and the inevitable loneliness we all feel as we occupy ourselves during our brief time on the planet.
I read once that there are 5 unavoidable truths in life, 5 things that we will experience again and again during our tenure on planet earth.
1. Everything changes and ends
2. Things do not always go according to plan
3. Life is not always fair
4. Pain is a part of life
5. People are not loving and loyal all the time
I hope I can show my kids how to deal with the challenges they will inevitably face, and I hope I can show them that the single most important thing is life is love - who you love and who loves you.
The thing that I have to figure out is how to do that when I think that we are essentially alone in our minds - our consciousness is a solitary one.
I can share a fairly limited version of my thoughts and feelings with you, gentle reader, and I can share a much fuller version with close friends and family, but I'll never be able to show someone what I'm actually thinking, nor really know what they are.
It's like there's darkness and we are groping around, looking at shadows and hoping they are friendly. Sometimes we find people in the darkness and sometimes we huddle together to share a spark, but the darkness is always there and it inevitably overwhelms. Someone said that every relationship that doesn't end in divorce ends in death, which is depressing as hell, but also true. I can be close to people, I can even be inside someone, but I'm still essentially alone in my head. Will having kids change that? I don't think so, but maybe I'm hoping I can be in their minds for a little bit, before they strike out on their own and move into their own lives.
I know that's likely a good thing that we can't read each others thoughts - I'd hate for people to know what goes through my mind when I'm driving on highway 401 and some doorknob cuts me off, but it's can also be a lonely thing when you are trying to communicate and the darkness interferes.
Pets are generally honest as are small kids - you can usually tell what's on a dog's mind and if you ask a three-year-old what they are thinking you'll likely get a pretty direct reply, but beyond those, everything we hear from anyone is filtered though countless layers and sometimes it can be hard to tell what's real, what's valuable and what is just static. What if my kids don't believe me when I tell them I love them? What if they tell me they don't love me?
I'm looking forward to having kids, but sweet Jebus it's a hell of a responsibility. I want them to be healthy, happy and fulfilled, and I want them to know they can talk to me about anything, even if it makes them (or me) look bad. My parents did an absolutely fantastic job in this regard and I hope to continue that legacy.
I want to share a campfire with my kids, and I can only hope they trust me enough to sit with me for a while and share the warmth. I'm not sure why I'm saying this, but my gut tells me that it's important that I do.