There has been much talk in our house lately. Talk of the future, and prospects. About the changes we have chosen and some that have chosen us. Others, are the kinds of things you don't really think about until they are happening. Sorry if this sounds kind of vague, unfortunately for you vague is what keeps us with content for another day, and keeps you (hopefully) coming back.
Many of Lindsay and I's discussions lately have centered around the boys and how much they are changing, and how much different their lives will be in the next year. Finn will be starting Kindergarten and Gavin will be headed off to *cough* Middle School. As any parent will tell you, these events hardly seem possible. This is especially true for me.
Not thinking that these scenarios would ever actually happen to me (this was many years ago, mind you), doesn't mean I never mused about the "what ifs" of little Johns running around. It probably comes as no shock to you that miniature versions of me, are indeed, exactly what I thought having children would be like. Exact replicas running around terrorizing the neighborhood. Little Towhead gremlins on skateboards throwing rocks at your daughters window and eating everything in the cupboard. All after midnight, of course. It should also come as no shock if you have children, or if you have spent any time around them, that I was a complete moron! Kids are who they are! They have personalities straight out of the womb, and no amount of wishful thinking or good vibes is going to change these little creatures into anything other than what they are. Which, as you soon find out, is perfect.
And really, who wants a spitting image of themselves running around anyway? Not to mention, that the more I analyze it, the worse it sounds. I was a pretty gnarly kid. I have no idea how my mother made it through the formative years of my life without having a nervous breakdown. I also have no idea how I survived those same years without any extensive hospital stays. Cat like reflexes, I'm sure. I wasn't a bad kid, just hard to wrangle. The kind that makes you cringe every time they ask to go outside, for fear of brush fires and rickety ramps built from cinder blocks and boards not meant to bear weight. As I write this, I have the sudden urge to call my mom and both thank her for always letting me do my thing and just be a kid, and then scream at the top of my lungs "Why didn't you warn me that having kids is scary shit!"
We have had the debate about "how much is too much" several times in the past few months. Be it T.V, video games, cell phones and just being exposed to the reality of life. I am sure I sound like some sort of curmudgeonly old man (which Lindsay often tells me, is quickly approaching) when I say, "when did all this happen?". Why I remember when............
Whatever, we are living it and there is no going back. All we can do is nurture, guide and thank our lucky stars they aren't totally like us!
As with all things parenting related, it is always a matter of picking your battles.
Me: Hey Gavin, let's watch RAMBO while no one else is home!
Gavin: How about we watch "My wife and Kids".
Me: Hey Finn, let's ride bikes and try to do wheelies.
Finn: O.k Dad, but how come we can't just ride slow and look at stuff. (This ride often ends with both of us walking and me pushing the bikes home whilst picking flowers and pointing at dogs)
Me: *Upon buying The Dangerous Book for Boys* Hey Gavin, did you see this tutorial about building a Bow and Arrow.
Gavin: Yes, did you see that rules of chess are in there too?
Me: Hey boys lets take our shirts off, listen to Sabbath, ride skateboards, give each other head-butts and dig a giant hole in the yard for no apparent reason!
Them: How about we just watch you do it while we run around the yard and sing Carole King songs.
I suppose in their case, nurture was on the winning end, and that's o.k. All I want is for them to know who they are and be happy. That's really all any of us could hope for, isn't it. Despite all my talk of raising the daredevils of tomorrow, I kind of went soft(ish) somewhere along the way. I always pictured myself as the "shake it off, and try it again" kind of father. Try until something breaks, or you succeed. I guess since I am now on the opposite end of the coin, I realize that Dads like that are Huge Assholes, and their kids totally resent them for it! As you may have gathered from previous posts, I have a big issue with being an asshole. So I changed my tune, and I grabbed a helmet and ran out into the yard to look for flowers for the tea party.
Which, much to my delight ended with a Nerf axe straight to my face!
They do love me! *sniff*
Have a great weekend, be safe!