While watching an episode of Last Man Standing, a Tim Allen sitcom of current standing, heh, heh, (I love punny things, even things not actually very punny), I experienced an epiphany. He was explaining in this particular episode, apologizing really, that he only wanted his daughter to be happy. Yet something stuck in my craw.
Despite what his character in fact said, he didn't actually want his daughter happy on open terms. He wanted his daughter happy on more defined terms.
True, he didn't say that. But it was implied quite directly when he asked her to be open to the possibility of a Navy Seal as a husband or boyfriend ahead of her then current choice of boyfriend if one might then appear.
What are we to make of this?
For starters, perhaps, that Tim Allen in his television world is nodding to the PC police. But more than that. Do fathers, should fathers, ever wish for their children mere happiness?
Happiness without reservation is, after all, without meaning. The sadist and the pious are on even terms here. We then begin to beg the question of what, really, should make us happy?
And that is precisely the question which I want my children to ask, answer, and live towards, as they decide what to do with themselves and their lives. I want them to ask, what should make me happy? And I want them to work towards an honest answer to that.
So, should I be asked, do you want you children to be happy, I must answer no. I do indeed want them to want to be happy. But I want for them true happiness, and nothing less will suffice in answer. I should hope all parents want that.