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Submitted by edoardoballerini on Thu, 3/8/2012, 10:50am
Our son was born two weeks ago. As with all new parents, we came home excited, exhausted, nervous and eager to share the news. So we took a lot of pictures, hoping to capture moments of exquisite cuteness we could share with our friends. Of course, one of my favorites was a shot where he looked like a smiling little Buddha.
Later in the evening, as I walked him in circles trying to calm him down and spare his mother from too much sleeplessness, it dawned on me that he was not so much a baby Buddha because of an inadvertent smile that made him look angelic, but because he was suffering, and struggling to find peace. Only a few days old, and already caught in the samsaric cycle.
Any adult can look at a baby and ask, “What could possibly be the matter?” The life of a newborn is pretty damn cushy. No bills to pay, no errands to run, no dealings with the world at all. Just the best food on earth, people bringing you presents, warm clothes and long, long naps. And yet, the suffering is there.
As the days passed, I discovered something further about my boy: he suffers from his own suffering. That is, he gets upset, and then gets upset about being upset. And then it hit me. He’s just like his father.
I have spent years, decades in fact, caught in cycles of anger, frustration, panic and fear that, like twisters, seem to grow in strength from little more than the humidity in the air. They are often not based on much at all, it seems, other than the thing itself. And as I look at my son in the small hours of the morning, and whisper, “It’s all right. It just is. Breathe,” I see that it might not be that he’s just like his father, but that his father is just like him.
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