A few months ago, I read a book called ‘Beautiful Boy’ by David Sheff. This book had and still does scare the wits out of me.

That said its worth a read, well written and non-preachy.

Beautiful Boy

As the cover says, this book is about ‘A father’s journey through his son’s meth addiction’. Sheff tries to retrace his steps in parenthood and find out where he went wrong, or what went amiss, and “People outside can vilify me,” he writes. “They can criticize me. They can blame me. Nic can. But nothing they can say or do is worse than what I do to myself every day. ‘You didn’t cause it.’ I do not believe it.”

Every parent worries about his/her child. I am paranoid about leaving my son in a tub of water unattended (a previous mishap is the cause), I am worried about him being mistreated/bullied at school or when I am not around to protect him. I fret about him not getting the right sort of nutrition. I worry about how my actions and decisions impact him….

But when I see him reciting all the shlokas that my father recites during his sandhya vandhane, makes me feel that he is special, that he might turn out to be an outstanding person. Seeing him build his newest masterpiece with legos makes me feel that there is a spark of brilliance, a genius hiding inside my little one. I preen about my son in front of other parents. I am sure every parent feels that their kid is special..

But no parent likes to think that their kid is going to turn into a drug addict or a chronic drunk. But what if they do? How do I prevent that? Are there like a set of parental guidelines, which if I follow will guarantee a ‘problem free’ teenager and an adult? Is there something I can do that can ensure his safe delivery into adulthood?

No parent can ever forget the kernel of goodness inside their child, no matter what they turn out later.

After reading this book, one thing that struck me is that parents can be just that – parents. They cannot control every aspect of their child’s behaviour /action.

All I can do seems to be to make sure he is protected, fed well, cared for.. to correct him when he fails and most importantly – to love him as fiercely as possible.

Love seems to be all that you can give, and then hope that it is enough (and understand and accept that sometimes it is not).

There is a twin to this book, written by David’s son Nic Sheff..where he writes about his struggle with crystal meth. It promises be an interesting read and I will try to get my hands on this one..

Tweak - Nic Sheff

Till then..chao  and keep checking in with your suggestions, opinions, bouquets and brickbats!

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