Last Saturday, the sky was overcast. I had my umbrella with me when I had my morning walk. 10 minutes before I reached my home, I passed by my neighbor who was having an Antique Garage Sale. As it started to rain, he began moving the items back to the garage. I walked up to his garage and we started to talk about his collections, he had 3 pianos with many other collector’s items for sale.
He asked me to sit down, since there were no customers. He told me he is from the Middle East, and started to tell me that when he first came to the USA as a student, he was only allowed to bring $250.00 UA dollars with him and he had no idea how he was going to pay his school’s tuition. The school was very helpful about his financial troubles and told him that he can attend school and work at the school as tuition. He began to work at the cafeteria washing dishes and was able to pay his tuition in full.
Additionally, he went through a lot of hardships that only first generation immigrants would understand. I myself am a first generation immigrant, so I do understand. I connected with him on many levels that day, because although I came from a different country, I faced similar hardships.
He told me that when he was young, he saw injustices in his country – he longed to study abroad. His dream was to return to his home country and help to make a better home for his countrymen. His attempts to raise issues of the injustices back home were unsuccessful while he was in college. He realized that he was not able to make a difference, and unfortunately began to give up when his “life” took over. He got married, had kids, and although he is happy, his dream was never made into reality.
I’m sure many of you can relate. Did you ever have a dream so extravagantly once upon a time, but the dream began to diminish as reality hit, and we found yourself hopeless and give up? It seems sad, but it is the fact of life. Life works in mysterious ways. I had similar dream when I was young, but later I found myself having a hard time to handle a husband and two sons. We both had a good laugh and I had a chance to meet my neighbor and got to know more about his life and where he came from.
I went on my usual walk this morning. I met a young father who is taking his four-month-old baby boy for a walk. The baby is so cute and is so very alert! He responded well to me when I was watching his cute little eyes. He also has three teeth already! So adorable. It seems kind of early for him to be teething, but it’s probably a good thing – I think he is going to grow up be a strong and happy boy.The boy’s dad and I exchanged a casual conversation. He told me that his baby sleeps with him in the same bedroom with his wife. I think it’s ok for now, but I advised him to have the baby sleep in his own room otherwise he’ll get used to it and won’t like to sleep by himself. That’ll really take a toll on his sleep schedule, in addition to his wife’s; he thanked me for the advice.
I also advised him to get involved in the baby’s life physically. It can be a lot of hard work, but it’s worth it. Building strong relationships between parents and children are very important to a child’s life. By constantly being involved in his life, he will build a richer relationship with the baby boy. Nothing else is more rewarding and fulfilling than having a healthy relationship with one’s children, it is absolutely priceless.
I also told him that my own son, Alan, is a wonderful father for my grandson. It brings me so much joy to see fathers involved in their children’s lives. I hope to see the baby again sometime soon! I’m sure he’ll be even more adorable when I do.