Bruno Šimleša Bruno Šimleša - službene stranice

"Loveology" - My Parenting Manifesto

I have made several false starts writing about all sorts of other topics, but to no avail. My thoughts kept bouncing back to a single image, a girl constantly on my mind and in my heart. No matter how hard I tried to concentrate on other things, she was always there, beautiful, charming, unique, literally sweeping me off my feet over and over again. Fear not, I am happily married, perhaps boringly monogamous and with no plans to start cheating on my wife. The girl who has so utterly and completely enchanted me is none other but our daughter, this wonderful, tiny creature who joined our family few of months ago.

By way of reassurance, let me dispel some common misconceptions straight away: no, my life has not suddenly acquired a whole new meaning, she isn't a person for whose sake I wake up with more joy every morning… I feel I had already found the right balance between being a serious and responsible person on the one hand and yet playful and relaxed on the other, quite simply because life is worthy of that balance in m its own right. My life is as meaningful as it has always been and I wake up in the morning for my own sake and in celebration of life. No, my daughter has not made my life meaningful (it was already meaningful before she came to us), but my life has certainly become much richer as a result. Like I said, this is why I would like to write about how I perceive my role as a parent and I am going to try and do it in the form of a letter to my daughter.

My darling Angel,

Welcome to our small, harmonious family. You are a truly desired child. We had been looking forward to your arrival and were ready to welcome you. And actually, you fitted in perfectly, right from the start! There isn't a day that passes when I am not utterly charmed and enchanted by your love and your heart-sparkle, as well as the fact that you certainly know your own mind, even at this early age! Just the look in your eye…..oh, you are beautiful! I adore you even in your moods, when you are screaming at the top of your lungs, not to be appeased by anything we do. You are already showing a great strength and beauty in their purest form and it's totally enchanting.

My angel, your mother and I shall make sure we do our best to prepare you for the great adventure that life is. We won't do it by shielding you from life but by enabling you to learn how to live your life to the full. No worries I know how you learn and we shall teach by example. I will teach you how to love yourself. I will show you how to have fun and enjoy life to the full. I will teach you the art of admiring all the great things around us. I will show you how to stand firm and tall. I will teach you how to appreciate friendship. I will show you how to invigorate your heart and how to draw strength and depth from gratitude. I will show you that it is indeed possible to travel all the way to the end of the world and back on the back of a single experience. I will show you how to be able to distinguish between what is essential and what isn't. I will show you which are the highest possible goals and how to go about achieving them. I will teach you all this by example, my darling, for I know this is the only way to enable you to learn. And, worry not; daddy will never forget this, for I will not allow myself to be worried about life. Your daddy will remain aware of the fact that he is the one in control of his life, not the other way round.

I will introduce you to the game of life, show you how to live playfully, but not play with life. I will teach you the rules of the game and how to use them to create the life you want. I will show you how to conjure up the experiences you want to have and how to benefit even from the unwanted ones. I will enable you to fully appreciate the beautiful gift of life that, by virtue of your arrival o this Earth, you have decided to open!

I shall prove to you that it is all right and acceptable to put yourself first, whilst other people can be put into whichever order you think best, depending on their relationship with themselves and with you. The opportunity to be a part of your life is a privilege only you can bestow on other people. It should not be taken for granted since you, my angel, deserve nothing less than the best!

Mummy and I will do our best to set an example of a relationship based on trust, honesty and love. We have already proven, and shall continue to do so, that love is indeed possible and that it does not have an expiration date. We have already proven love is within heart's reach for people who love and honour lovingness. My darling angel, love is the only thing worth dedicating your life to. Love of yourself, of other loving beings, love of truth….

I shall encourage you to make the choices which will be truly fulfilling as opposed to just good enough, standard issue type of choices. And you must make sure your needs are met. And if your mother or I, or a future partner for that matter, are not happy with your choices, it needn't concern you. We are mature enough to be able to deal with our concerns and your task is to focus on your own. Those who truly love you will still love and support you even if you do the exact opposite of what they expect or would like you to do. Honestly, I firmly believe that I will, in a special fatherly way, cheer you on and encourage you if you stand up to me, for I know that in doing so, you are developing into your own person.

Just in case you ever need this in writing – let me go on to say I'd far rather you ended up a happy garage mechanic than an unhappy doctor. I know full well that there is many a path leading to happiness, all of them full of imagination. I can provide you with some of the tools you'll need on this trip, but you shall have to travel down that path on your own. What you do is not who you are, yet it does have a significant impact on the quality of your daily life. This is why I feel I ought to tell you that it is important to do the job you love. After all, you already know how passionate I am about all the things I do….

Yes, dearest, I could go on to list a thousand things we shall do and experience together, but the most important thing of all is that you should learn the art of true love – how to really love yourself and other people, nature, freedom….I know this is the most wonderful gift I could possibly give you! Don't worry, I won't forget. I am well aware this is certainly a great deal more important than any number of warm meals, all the clean laundry and any kind of children's activities we could possibly take you to… You came to us for love and you shall be showered with love.

Of course, I am well aware that you will use your gifts and talents as you see fit and of course I accept that. I am well aware of the fact that your life belongs to you and only you. I know full well that you are entitled to live your life any way you choose, but still, I am going to make sure you are equipped with the right tools for that journey and I hope you will enjoy it to the full every single step of the way!

Just one more thing my angel, I ought to thank you for showing me a new guise of love. For never before, have I felt this kind of love, the shape and the colour of love I now feel for you. Thank you! You have truly inspired and enriched my life!