Just a roll of the dice?
We are 4 brothers, completely different from one another. Literally, it’s as if all 4 of us were adopted from families of different genetic pools. Not only are we nothing like each other physically, but our personalities could not be more different. It’s quite striking really, and unfortunate. We brothers aren’t really close to each other. I don’t know how things turned out to be this way. Maybe it was growing up in Jeddah, where we had no cousins to hang out with to see how ‘normal’ brothers interacted. Maybe it was because our eldest brother, who should have taken the lead, was never affectionate, using us as objects of his amusement and service more than anything else. I wish that weren’t the case. I’ve seen brothers who would do anything for each other, and while we four are certainly never hostile with each other, there isn’t an over-abundance of warmth between us either. We all have our separate lives now, our separate destinies. I wonder if it’s just a part of growing up to drift apart slowly. I wonder if it’s because of the weird family dynamics we have that has resulted in this or if it’s just how things work out for most families.
One the subject of how different the 4 of us have turned out, in the extent of our achievements, in our attitudes towards our parents, and in our temperaments, my father once told me that children are a gamble. You can try to do everything right and still they turn out very badly. With other kids, you just gently nudge them in the right direction and things seem to magically work out. That has definitely been the case with my own family. I’m still uncertain though to what extent my father’s ‘gamble’ theory is correct. I think there must be always been a way nurture can overcome nature to move a child along a road that leaves him well adjusted, hard-working and happy. Then again, I know of kids who have completely ruined their lives even though their parents have tried everything to help them. Maybe these parents did something wrong. It’s disconcerting to think that children can be a family’s downfall.
When they are born, there is nothing but hope and love in the parent’s hearts. How painful it must be to have that sentiment betrayed.