Posts Tagged ‘parenting



24
Jul
13

I Love Everything The Kids Do, Even Pokemon (Usually)

When I was typing up the first post of the day—the You’ve Got Nothing to Prove (no you really don’t) post—it made me think back to a conversation I had with my wife.

No, not the one about the coffee ice cubes which, I don’t care what anyone says, will make us rich!

This one was much longer ago, back before The Professor was born.

Use your TARDIS to travel back in time with me…… copyright probably BBC, it wasn’t marked. Possibly copyright, Gallifrey

Actually, when my wife was still pregnant with the little rugrat but before we knew “he” was a “he” or a “she.” My wife was watching me play with Alpha-Toddler (you know him as the Tween)—I don’t recall what we were doing but it probably involved him attacking me.

When the Alpha-Toddler had alpha-toddled off to do something else, my wife asked me whether I would treat a daughter the same way as I did our son.

Not sure what she meant, I asked her to clarify.

Her response was that she was wondering if I would do the same things—in general—with a daughter that I did with my son. Would I watch football with her? Would I wrestle and play tag with her? Would I share the things I loved with her, even if they weren’t “traditionally girl things?”

I put that last part in quotes not because I am quoting The Wife, but because what the hell is a “traditional girl thing” anyway?

Anyway, I thought about it for a minute or two and said that I hoped I would.

Me, most Sundays the last few years. (copyright CBS & 3dfpsmocksession.com)

That I would hope that she would sit with me while I watch the Jets lose again, that she would dry my tears the same way our son did. That if she wanted to read comics with me or play a video game, I’d be happy to.

That if she liked to play soccer or football, to pretend to be a knight slaying a dragon or whatever made her happy, I’d be right there just like I was for our son.

But that until I had a daughter, I really didn’t know. Frankly, at the time I was more concerned that if she didn’t want to do any of those things that I wouldn’t know what to do with her.

Now, since we ended up with a boy, I didn’t exactly have that to deal with any of that.

However, the Professor definitely has his own interests, his own likes and dislikes. Some of those match up with my own, others don’t. He tolerates football because he likes to hang out with me, but he’d rather play Pokemon and that’s fine (although I haven’t a clue what he or his brother are talking about). He used to dress up in princess dresses (not my speed but he did make an adorable princess). He likes sports, but mostly individual ones like gymnastics or tennis.

While I didn’t get that daughter, it turns out that I still had to deal with almost the same question.

In the end, I did have to deal with having a child who wasn’t exactly like me. Two actually, because Alpha Tween is definitely his own person as well.

The answer to my wife’s question from eight years ago is—in my mind—emphatically yes. Because boy or girl, the goal is the same.

copyright via Simon & Schuster

To treat them with respect for the things they like, even if they don’t mirror my own likes.

Even if it’s that they like the prequel Star Wars movies over the original one, don’t think Han Shot first and find the Lord of the Rings not all that interesting.

So far none of that has happened because I’m a damned good parent who teaches his kids the proper way of things, but the point is it’s OK with me if their interests diverge. And it should be for you as well.

When one of the kids wants to do something with me that they love, I love it too, even if it’s just for the hour we’re hanging out. I love it, because they love it.

And that respect for the different likes, dislikes and interests of others will hopefully be something they take with them for the rest of their lives.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?

24
Jul
13

You’ve got nothing to prove (you really don’t)

I’m a nerd.

That used to be a “brave” thing to say because it wasn’t cool. Which was fine, though I didn’t realize that at the time because like everyone else, I wanted to be cool.

Nowadays it’s considered cool to be a nerd. Of course, it was always cool to be a nerd—because everyone was a nerd for something.

Most people just didn’t realize it.

When I worked on Justice League Unlimited many moons ago, one of my bosses and I were teasing one of the production coordinators on the crew that he was a nerd, but didn’t know it.

He was a big sports fan, not a comic or sci-fi type of guy. In his mind, he was not a geek. Until my boss Shaun pointed out that the fact that he had painted his face to attend a game and cheer at the top of his lungs was pretty geeky.

Our friend and co-worker was passionate about Ohio State basketball.

Being a nerd is about passion (always has been), not what you’re passionate about.

Wil Wheaton, former Wesley Crusher and current writer and geek icon, puts it best:

image via dftba.com and Wil Wheaton, evil or not

Yet, as is always the case, there are fractures in the community. For some reason, despite being ostracized all our lives for being outside the realm of normal, the nerd community has decided that for some reason people are faking it and don’t belong.

It seems as if the fakers are frequently women, but there is absolutely infighting elsewhere.

I’ve known geek girls all my life. I’m married to one, though I think I’ve made it worse since I’m a horrible influence on her and forced her into watching Battlestar Galactica (the remake) and Shaun of the Dead.

You should be welcomed. Men, women, children—you should be welcomed into the community of nerds, be they Star Wars fans, comic book readers, Harry Potter cosplayers or insane sports fans. There’s room for each and every one of you.

Or at least there is in my world and will be in the world I teach my kids about.

With that in mind, I present to you this video, which I found on Mr. Wheaton’s page yesterday.

No matter who you are, what you love, your gender, age or any other of a billion factors, you are always welcome in my geeky world.

Hey, are you following Dad Moon Rising on Twitter or Facebook? Why the hell not?

19
Jun
13

This is what I was talking about: Can Men Have It All? (Today Show)

In a moment of universal synchronicity (or dumb luck) The Today Show broached a subject we touched on late Tuesday night and will be a frequent topic of conversation around here for some time to come.

image via The Today Show

image via The Today Show

The segment was called “Can Men Have it All?” and it ran Wednesday morning. You can watch the video of it at Today.com, though I’d like to point out they filed it under “Moms”. I guess that’s the target audience but a section called “Dads” or “Parenting” would have been far more apt, right?

I guess that’s a rant for another day.

It’s an interesting video and I wanted to call a few things out in it.

At 0:46 of the video, we’re introduced to Hugh Kenny, who is “doing more around the home” (how novel). Hugh travels three days a week and talks a bit about the sacrifice he makes to do so, missing day care events and sports.

What struck me wasn’t that, because we all have to sacrifice something to balance everything out, right? I won’t judge his choices.

No, what got me was his need to “provide” for his family – just as his dad did before him.

Even with two people working, to Hugh, it’s his job to provide a living for his family.

It’s exactly the same thing the young man who I was trying to council a week or so ago (talked about a little here) was worried about. How can you spend more time with your kids, AND work a full time job AND help around the house AND AND AND

image captured from the movie Big Trouble in Little China and is NOT a self potrait

image captured from the movie Big Trouble in Little China and is NOT a self portrait

:KABOOM:

Seriously, how does your head not explode?

So we’re still stuck in the same place our dads were – it’s up to us (as men) to be the breadwinners even when our wives and partners earn money as well.

Our identity is still wrapped up in that space. That’s incredible pressure.

Don Draper is wondering why you're sitting reading when you should be working dammit. image via AMC's Mad Men

Don Draper is wondering why you’re sitting reading when you should be working dammit. image via AMC’s Mad Men

I was also interested in the host’s question of whether, given the choice a man would choose a promotion (and I would assume more hours/less family time) or more soccer games (more kid time).

It’s a good question and I was a little surprised to hear the guest say more and more men choose the family time. Not because I don’t agree, but because we aren’t programed to do that.

Another thing: 3 out of 5 men don’t hear praise or appreciation from their spouses for their expanded roles.

I don’t know I buy this, but you guys tell me. All I can say is, sometimes I hear it, sometimes I don’t. I also don’t do it for the props, I do what I do because I want to and because I’ve chosen to.

Finally, while I do agree with the guest that the idea that you can “have it all” is in some ways silly because we can’t have everything we want, when we want it, I don’t agree we can’t “have it all”.

Confused? Me too, but bear with me.

We can have it all – if we are better at having a realistic idea of what “it all” is.

Take a friend of mine for example. As far as I can tell, he “has it all”.

He’s working a dream job – I mean, it’s ridiculous how jealous I get of him, and I have worked and do work some fantastic gigs. But with the awesomeness comes lots of work – it’s a full time job and gets more full time during football season.

My friend also has a great family – a wife, three wonderful daughters (one of which has special needs) – who I know mean the absolute world to him.

I constantly see pictures of him in social media, not just at cool work things, but spending time with his family.

Now, is his life perfect? I can’t say. But he’s happy and as far as I can tell, he’s “got it all”. He keeps working to improve it all, and his goals shift but in the end, he sets his expectations in a sane and reasonable manner (most times) and then shoots for his goals.

Maybe his “got it all” isn’t mine or yours, but it’s a damned good one for him. In my mind, it also proves we can have it all.

We just need to do a better and more reasonable job defining what that is.

Maybe it’s providing money for the family. Maybe it’s providing dinner. Maybe it’s providing the care and feeding of the kids. Maybe it’s a mixture of some of those and a few more things.

But let’s first stop limiting ourselves by defining what we are by what our dad’s were.

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What I’m Into:

Reading: Dead Beat by Jim Butcher Listening to: The Heist, Macklemore Watching: Damages