This blog isn’t exactly known for its positivity.
To paraphrase Shakespeare, every once in a while, I come not to bury, but to praise. Today, I’m looking on the bright side, and sharing some of the positive traits I’ve passed down to my two sons.
I’m kind of a terrible example for my kids.
I yell too much, I say no too much, I overreact too much. I am afraid my personality is infecting Detective Munch, worried my worldview is poisoning his outlook, terrified my paranoia is cramping his style, and haven’t quite been able to get him to ignore silly gender stereotypes.
And yet, somehow, in spite of all that, I’ve seen some evidence that a few of my positive traits have rubbed off them, so far, mostly on Detective Munch. (The Hammer has yet to manifest much of my personality or interests, good or bad, so I’ll circle back with him in a few years.) So today I’m going to celebrate those.
Nine Positive Traits My Kids Got From Me
- He Likes The Right Pop Culture: Star Wars, The Beatles, superheroes. Detective Munch loves those things! So far my attempts at influencing the pop culture my son consumes has been working like gangbusters. Sure, there’s a bunch of kid stuff I don’t endorse, but he’s quickly become passionate about some of the proper pop culture pillars. Soon enough we’ll move onto The Karate Kid, Radiohead, and Mr. Show. My work never ends!
- He’s Good At Math: And he enjoys it! This is a cheat because it has nothing to do with me. Seems like a total fluke, actually. Maybe it’s the water?
- He Loves His Mom: Hey, me too! Obviously this is mostly a mix of biology and common sense, but I like to think it’s at least partially due to both the fact that I landed a good one and that he sees how much I love Mom and Buried and it rubs off on him.
- He Hates Trump: Again, mostly common sense. And the fact that we live in Brooklyn, which will probably be the capital of the New America after the president finishes destroying the old one. But we’ve chatted about the Trump a few times, so he knows where Mom and Buried and I stand. And he agrees. Maybe you think 6-year-old should be left to make up his own mind but this is a world in which educated adults believe the (actually) fake news they see on Facebook, so I can’t take that chance.
- He Loves Stufties: This one is all The Hammer. Detective Munch couldn’t care less about stufties, his obsession with his Lovey notwithstanding. But The Hammer can’t get enough of his furry stuffed friends, just like his Daddy, who had an ill-advised collection of Garfield stuffed animals and plenty of non-terrible-comic-strip based animal friends. (I was a kid, get off me.) There’s nothing cuter than seeing a toddler waddle around holding a stuffed owl or floppy bunny. Plus, I occasionally get to snuggle with one! (I have nothing else in my life, get off me.)
- He’s Sarcastic: As his father, this actually sucks. But as someone for whom sarcasm is a second, if not a first language (join the club, right?), I respect it. And the skills he’s learned from me, though infuriating now, will pay off later when he’s older and not in my vicinity.
- He Stands Up For His Friends: Detective Munch is a sensitive kid, and he’s had some issues with bullies, but we’ve also seen him defend his friends. Its not all the time, and it isn’t something I can take all the credit for; Mom and Buried and probably Ninjago and the superhero shows he watches carry some weight. But no matter where it comes from or how frequently it happens, he’s six, and it’s heartening to see him tell another little boy not to make fun of a friend just because she’s a girl.
- He Loves Chips: This is another one that kind of backfires. Because while I’m glad he appreciates the finer things, like salty snacks and crispy, crunchy potato chips, it also means I have to share mine. It’s really going to hurt when he starts liking beer!
- He Hates Soccer: Damn right. THIS IS AMERICA! Wait a second. Now I kind of sound like Trump… At least I won’t let my kids play football!
I can’t take credit for all of these, and even the ones I do take credit for aren’t all me. Kids reflect what they see, and as they get older, they see a lot more. Detective Munch started out aping his parents, but now it’s impossible to deny the influence of other external forces. We still have a role in shaping his personality and interests but on top of us, there’s also some combination of genetics, peer pressure, pop culture, GMOs, chemtrails, and fluoride.
Obviously. I’m not an idiot!
But when you’re a parent and you’re constantly questioning your ability to teach your kids the right things, and stressing out about raising good people, you gotta take what you can get.
If my kids grow up loving Superman and potato chips, being loyal to their friends and resisting the Trump family’s attempts to degrade America, I’m good.
What have your kids gotten from you?