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dimanche 29 mars 2009

Affliction of being the first-born

Petit Suisse has been cursed with the affliction of being the first-born. Both Shrek and I can sympathise fully as I am a first-born from my first-born parents and so is Shrek. What this affliction dictates is that in Vietnamese tradition or more generally in all of society the eldest is supposed to lead by example and is burdened with the weight of grandiose expectations and responsibilities.

Shrek rejects this practice because he knows full well how he suffered as a result of this malediction: being looked up to and having to set an example for his younger siblings because if he failed then they would follow his bad example and collectively blunder and come asunder. But nevertheless Petit Suisse still has to carry a heavy load as he whether non-intentional or not gets yelled at the most and at times blamed for collective wrong-doings that are not entirely his fault. He is chided and disciplined when he disobeys because he whether we want to admit or not is still the beacon of example at the moment. He sets a precedence and in common law precedence is what dictates judgments of cases.

I do feel horrible when I lose my temper, yell or raise my voice with all my children. I am deeply sorry that I feel sometime I unfairly raise my voice and lose my patience more regularly with Petit Suisse. I have to remind myself that he is still only a tender age of 6. I would like to improve in this aspect. I want them and especially Petit Suisse to know that I do not have false and unrealistic or grandiose expectations lined up for him just because he is the oldest. I do not want favouritism to play a role. I would like to be as fair and just as possible with all four and want them to feel loved and supported always. I do want what is best for them and that is something that is unknown to me at this stage. I do not want to impose my will but simply want them to be guided and educated and taken care of to the best of my ability and capacity. I do want them to have fulfilled and meaningful lives and do what they love (although one has to be realistic about material gains and not be too fazed by drab reality)...

In short I do want to better myself and want my children to know that as flawed and imperfect as I am, my will is to give them my all and to communicate openly, honestly and share my wisdom, experiences and most of all I want to instill a sense of humour and optimism/hopefulness. I think humour and laughter can heal and ease the pain of most of life's harsh realities.

To be able to Laugh at yourself is an ability that does not come naturally or is not inherent in us. It comes with practice as Shrek will readily admit. Shrek has come leaps and bounds in this aspect as I will attest to a Shrek the Grinch when I first began living with him to a more personable and humane/humorous Shrek of present.

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