You Only Live Once

I’ve seen some pretty stupid articles on the internet. Like the one about Frozen having a gay agenda. Or the one about Obama being a Muslim. Or the one about Andy’s mom having once been a child. YEAH RIGHT.

But nothing is as stupid as this one. Sorry, this one. It was on HuffPo the other day (I post on there!), and it’s about how to tell if your kid was reincarnated.

As most people know, there’s no such thing as reincarnation. As most parents know, the only person their kid is a reincarnation of is Mommy or Daddy. And apparently maybe Hitler.

The last thing I think about when I see my 3yo doing something weird, or doing something oddly sophisticated, or goose-stepping, is reincarnation (the first thing I think about is “why did I do so many drugs in college?”). My kid does a lot of weird shit that makes me question what he’s thinking, or where he learned something, or what I’m doing wrong, or why I’m bothering, or how old is too old to safely abandon a child at a firehouse?, but that’s only because children are fucking CRAZY and parents are I am fucking CLUELESS. YOLO, you only live once, reincarnation, parenting, humor, ghost inside my child, lifetime TV, funny, belief, imagination, kids, children, teaching, obama

I’ve never considered the possibility my son’s weird comments about his “other father” or his strange ability to be the noisiest person on earth or his bizarrely detailed knowledge of John Wilkes Booth’s bedroom were evidence of a past life. More often than not, I just assume that one of his teacher’s is a fucking psycho, because let’s be honest, I have little to no idea what they’re teaching my kid when he’s at school three times a week, aside from songs about Jesus (North Carolina FTW!).

From HuffPo: “Belief in reincarnation goes back centuries and is part of many religious faiths, but there is, so far, little scientific data supporting it.” Oh do ya think so, Doctor?

As a rational human being with far more serious things to worry about (the Dolphins had better draft some linemen!), I’ve never once thought that my kid might be the reincarnation of Hitler, even on his worst days. The sad fact is, my son isn’t likely to be the reincarnation of anyone except me, and believe me, that’s terrifying enough. Actually, he’s been singing a lot of show-tunes lately, so maybe he’ll dodge that bullet and end up more like my wife. Either way, he’s probably not Hitler, because YOLO.

Maybe I’m just a skeptic. I don’t believe in ghosts, I don’t believe in psychics, I don’t believe in the small of a woman’s back, and I don’t believe in past lives. I do believe my son is going to grow up with enough baggage from his own life – and from having me as a dad – to bother encouraging nonsense such as this, and in that way I feel like letting your kid be on a TV show like the one the Huffington Post is promoting in the piece that inspired this post is probably a little irresponsible.

richard belzer, detective munch, parenting, past lives, reincarnation, fantasy, imagination, responsibility, belief, dads, moms, funny, huffpo I’m all for encouraging my son’s imagination; the last thing I want to do is stifle his creativity or ability to dream. I just draw the line at indulging in too much of that stuff myself, or in using my son as a pawn in some deluded Abraham and Isaac type fantasy, wherein he ends up damaged because I lost my mind. So while I want to set an example for him that allows for a little magic in his life, that lets him explore some of the more fantastical, not-easily-explainable aspects of existence, I don’t want him to lose sight of reality while he does.

So no, I won’t be taking Detective Munch on the casting call for “Ghost Inside My Child”, no matter how much his strange behavior often scares me. It’s one thing to glimpse a white rabbit, it’s quite another to chase one down a hole.

That said, like Fox Mulder, I want to believe. I’m dying to meet a ghost. Or to discover my son stormed the Bastille. Or was Richard Belzer. Or is Jesus.

But I can’t. We only have room for one lunatic in my house, and if there’s anything I’m doing right as a parent, it’s letting my son be the crazy one.

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7 thoughts on “You Only Live Once

  1. I giggled away so much reading this. Even before reading it actually. I just looked at the pic of Obama. My daughter uses YOLO. It drives me nuts. I do believe in ghosts but so far, our daughter hasnt been possessed yet. Mind you, we have heard her chatting to someone in her room when she was by herself. Hmmmmm

  2. I’d like to believe, thus mostly I do. I think there’s enough room to say “this is what we KNOW is true, and this is something we HOPE is true”. We can’t DISprove it, so we’ve still got wiggle room!

  3. Your son and I used to hang out during a past life. I wasn’t going to say anything about it because I didn’t want to freak you out but he was my priest.

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