One of my best friends recently became father to his first son, which is kind of a big deal in itself, but especially so as we are both ethnic Chinese. Traditionally, as with many other cultures, being the first born son carries with it some big expectations. One of which is to give the family another son in order to carry the family name through successive generations.
I say ‘Traditionally’ because as we were celebrating the intrinsically joyous occasion of parenthood, we both joked knowingly the ridiculousness of the above notion.
We joked that his son Maxen, will one day become a successful Bachelor of Commerce major, who will then secure a nice graduate job at one of the big accounting firms, toiling away 12 hour days, in effect becoming a model Asian son…
Then at the age of 25 he will burn out. He will decide that he hates his life, and we will support him through this difficult life stage. He will then become a hippy and retire to Okinawa where he will be loved and revered.
Where he will be Loved.
(image courtesy of http://tailscomic.com/)
Most importantly, he will be Loved. That really was the crux though. Our Children will be loved no matter what.
In case I haven’t conveyed my message clearly enough, our discussion was really about how far we have come not only as individuals endeavouring to find our places in this (still) giant world, but as family units and as a sub-culture. These third culture kids have effectively evolved from good Chinese sons to good Global modern-day parents.