Dream Cheater

Dream Cheater

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.

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Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Sometimes I worry that I love my son too much.

I was thinking about that this Christmas, when I saw the haul of toys he received from his parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, and watched as he was indoctrinated into the Culture of More. It definitely made for a fun holiday – the joy of little kids can be contagious – but it also made me nervous.

There’s a reason we call it “spoiling.” Overindulgence breeds assholes.

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Parental Burnout

Parental Burnout

I went into this parenting gig with almost total ignorance, and while it’s been more fun than I anticipated, I have few illusions about the trials and tribulations to come.

In fact, based on what I’ve seen from other parents throughout my life, I fully expect the goodwill I’ve accumulated – along with the optimistm inherent to the naivete of a two year parent – to be largely exhausted and potentially completely eliminated by the time my kid is 18. Maybe even sooner.

But I’m not there yet, and I’m in no hurry to be. So I keep trucking along, only occasionally stressing about the future. Best case scenario, I end up like the parents in Easy A. Worst case? I end up like a teacher.

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