“Grown-ups love figures… When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ” Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”
It seems to me knowing about butterflies, games, and the sound of somebody’s voice are much more important than knowing a weight, an age or even money. Money doesn’t make friends, at least not the kind of friends I’d want. Frankly, I hate figures, whither it is a math problem or figuring out my checkbook. Thank goodness for on-line banking so I no longer have to struggle monthly with the hell of balancing; I do much better checking my account daily and keeping the balance in my head. That way, my math output is limited and that brings me happiness.
I am proud to say I never questioned my sons about their friend’s parents – unless it was to clarify in my mind I was thinking of the right persons. I never asked about weight or height. I decided once another boy was not the appropriate friend and, covertly, gave my son’s regrets to his birthday party. Realistically, my son was 7 or 8 and this boy cursed in ever sentence. Not something I wanted my child around.
I don’t, however, remember asking about those essential matters. What does essential mean? According to the dictionary:
: extremely important and necessary
We all know this. The words isn’t unusual or vague. But looking at the definition in black and white it struck me that essential matters are extremely important and yet very basic. Food, clothes, shelter. A purposeful life and the ability to find happiness inside. Our health. Family. Friends. Love. Peace.
It all boils down to balance. Is my life balanced? Can I somehow find the fine line between my life, my work and my son’s still living at home. Am I content in my work? Do I care about butterflies and voices and games?
Yes, yes, I believe I do.