Thursday, May 12, 2011
Red, Right, Return
Gracie Gardner's Vimeo Channel
The average contemporary human does not consider the sublime much. Life is not seen as linear --with an end -- or even circular, with an eastern repetition. In many people's mind they were never a baby and will never be old. It's a botoxed cougar world, facing off against forty year old men still dressing up like Star Wars characters.
I don't want to be sixty years old at a Coldplay concert with a girlfriend on my shoulders, thanks. I don't think it will be fun to eventually look at eternity and only have fifteen minutes of real adult behavior in your CV. And I don't want to act as if children are just short adults. I'm six-foot-two, there's plenty of short adults around already. It's common for people to remark that they don't want to see children out in public, and old people should find an ice floe before we have to find one for you. Out of sight, out of mind. Me? I like children that act childish and babies that coo and old people if they don't say tsk too often.
Hey, there's an aphorism: Out of sight, out of mind. "Get out of our sight, and we're out of our minds," might be more to the point nowadays. Time for new aphorisms, I guess.
My wife and I have children. We're married to one another and stay that way. We raise the little shavers as best we can, and treat them like children, and try to prepare them to be adults so we can treat them like adults later. Maybe if we do it right they won't start picking out an ice floe for us before we're sixty.
Part of raising an adult is having respect for their opinions, at least eventually. Asking your four-year-old to pick out a color to paint their room is foolish. When you're four-years-old, decisions should be made with an appropriate amount of serendipity, and not written in stone, or at least not eggshell paint. Children need help, and eventually you're going to need help from your children in return, if for no other reason than to figure out what the hell you've been put on this earth for when your time's up.
You have to protect your children from touching the stove, it's true; but sooner or later they're going to get older, and they'll find themselves in a room with a hot stove, and they're going to have to cook if they want to eat. How do you prepare your kids properly for modern life? Beats me. Maybe the simple fact that you try is where the success is hidden. It's all quality time, if you ask me. Hey, that would make a nifty newage aphorism. I often tell my wife, I'm a bad father, but I am a father, and take pride in not receiving an incomplete, never mind an "F". Minus.
You can give your kids rules of thumb to navigate the world by. Aesop's Fables. Red, Right, Return. Aphorisms. Eventually, they'll grow up and make their own, and if you do your job right, maybe they'll surprise and charm the hell out of you, considering what a world full of hot stoves we just handed them.