I recently read Keith Richards’s autobiography. I read it to learn more about the recording of some of his band’s seminal albums, and about how he survived doing so many drugs but it got me thinking about what I would do if my son decided to he wanted to be an axman. While describing his childhood, Keith never really discusses what his parents thought of his choice of career, making it seem like they were just bystanders while he chased his dream. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t, maybe he doesn’t remember their names. But it got me thinking.
I don’t yet know what my son’s dreams will be, but I plan to support them as best I can. The thing is, as a parent I’m sure to have a different perspective on his life and his dreams than he does. Mostly because, by virtue of being older and having lived more life, I have some perspective – which can be both valuable and damaging, and he doesn’t – which can also be both valuable and damaging. The young and the
old less-young usually disagree on where the value lies.
This is a source of conflict.
I hope whatever gifts you get – or give – get a better reception than that clown Jimmy Olsen’s!
You may remember I wrote a similar letter on Mother’s Day, in which I begged you to behave so that your mom could relax and enjoy her special Sunday.
This letter is a little different. For one thing, this letter is about me, rather than about Mommy, so I can speak a bit more freely. For another, until football starts, Sundays are pretty much meaningless to me. Even this coming one.
Children don’t understand decorum.
They don’t know that society has rules. That society demands you behave in a certain way in certain places. It’s called being civilized.
Children are not civilized. My two-year-old might as well be a rabid animal most of the time.
Getting him to behave the way one is supposed to behave is impossible.
On Twitter, it is possible to create lists into which you can group and categorize the people you follow. As I’ve grown my presence there, I’ve seen myself added to more and more lists (you get notified when it happens).
Yesterday, I was added to one that was simply called “parents.”
And it made me a little sad.
Kids are strange.
Even my own son, whom everyone thinks is my spitting image and who you’d assume shares some of my personality traits and interests, is alien to me in many ways.
Every day he does things that make no sense to me. Which should be good preparation for his teen years, when he’ll be into stuff I have no understanding of and he’ll hate stuff I love just because I love it. But his thought process is not yet that sophisticated and, therefore, might even be more honest.
Some of the stuff he hates he hates because he’s young and doesn’t know any better. Some of it is because he’s two and two-year-olds like to be jerks. And some of the stuff he likes he likes because he’s young and doesn’t know any better, some of it is because he has a little bit of Mom and Buried in him too, and some of it is because he’s as unique as a snowflake.
A snowflake I thought I knew.
In an effort to really sell the “terrible” in “terrible twos”, my son has become a very selfish, defiant and lazy guy. Lately, trying to get my son to do anything usually results in him screaming for five minutes.
We’re dealing with this stage as best we can, all the while reminding ourselves that it is just a stage (and if it’s not, there’s always military school) and all the while self-medicating ourselves into being excited that he’s learning how to express himself and grow more independent and have opinions, if you can call “no!” and “mine!” opinions.
He knows what he wants and he knows what he doesn’t want, and never the twain shall meet.
Since time-outs are so ineffective and cages and tranquilizers are frowned upon, we’ve had to resort to other methods to attempt to control the beast.
I remember when my son learned to say “No.” The moment haunts my dreams.
Much like the discovery of lying, when a child learns to say “no,” it’s another step on the road to having a teenager. Another step on the road from merely “keeping your offspring alive” to actually “raising a human being.” Another step on the road from having low blood pressure and a healthy head of hair to looking, and heart-attacking, like Roger Sterling.
As a new parent with grand ideas of how you’ll raise the perfect child and do everything right, you initially try to limit how often you say “no” in the hopes that your kid won’t pick up on its power and start wielding it himself. But he does. He certainly has in my house.
And now it’s no longer about avoiding no; it’s about reclaiming it. Because these days, the word is all his.
A little more than a year ago, I wrote about the last Superman movie. And how just because the movie was boring, it doesn’t mean the character is. With a new Superman flick a mere months away, I’m hoping to be proven correct.
I love Superman. When I became a father, I was very excited to introduce him to my son, and that process has already begun. He hasn’t seen the original movies yet, but he has several Superman outfits, complete with capes, and he loves watching the “Christopher Reeve tribute” I found on YouTube.
About a year ago, already anticipating this new flick, I wrote about the wrongheadedness of making his son in the last movie “super,” especially since the events on which Superman Returns was piggy-backing made such an occurrence totally impossible. After that debacle, I’m glad they’ve struck out on their own this time around; I even like what I’ve heard of the score! Sure, it means we get another origin story of a character whose origin is as well-known as Truman Burbank’s, but at least it’s been more than thirty years since that story was told on the silver screen.Man of Steel Returns" width="300" height="231" class="alignright size-medium wp-image-7537" title="Zombie Post: The Man of Steel Returns" />
The fact that Superman has two fathers, and that the conflict between the values they’ve each instilled in him – or even the way those values complement each other – seems a major theme of this new movie (and much of his mythology in general), gives me a handy excuse to run posts about my favorite superhero without straying too far from the whole “Dad” part of my blog.
Which is why I’ve resurrected last year’s post:
Original Post: Superman Was a Father Too!