Posts Tagged ‘pokemon

12
Dec
13

Keep Calm and Nerd On

keep calm and geek onThe way I got here was so circuitous (as it is with most ‘places’ I arrive at) I won’t confuse you with it, but I found myself back reading a Tumblr post I had come across months ago by artist Joel Watson of the webcomic Hijinks Ensue.

The story Watson shares is a sweet one, about an interaction between a father and a son at this year’s San Diego Comicon.

It’s about acceptance and taking a few moments to enjoy time with the people you care about.

It struck home with me for a couple of reasons but the biggest one was the part about acceptance.

Of course, as a self-proclaimed nerd, geek or whatever the whole “acceptance” thing is important. I certainly have felt alone or different most of my life.  I’m willing to bet most of us have whether we admit it or not.

It took a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin—and I readily admit there are days I still don’t. Which is amazing because the more I work in media and the more people I meet, the more I find they hold very similar interests to my own.

So the post hits home because one of the things I really want to do with the boys is to empower them to love what they love and not worry about what others think of it.

Not long ago Alpha Tween (who recently I considered re-naming Sullen Tween because hormones) relayed a story to me about something that happened at school.

image via 4kids Entertainment

Despite being 12, Alpha is still a fan of Pokemon. I’ve never totally understood the fascination (though I am a fan of Psiduck) but hey, whatever floats your boat, right?

And he definitely has friends who still enjoy looking at and playing with the cards and video games.

He was with his friends at lunch and two of his friends were doing something with Pokemon cards. Alpha was watching, not playing but hanging out when he ended up in a conversation with two 6th graders.

The younger kids asked him if his friends were really playing Pokemon. Alpha responded, yes they were.

They then asked him if he liked Pokemon too. Alpha said he did.

The two kids then proceeded to make fun of all three kids, laughing as they walked away.

I asked him how he felt about it and he shrugged.

“What do I care what they think? I like what I like.”

I’d like to think he learned this from my wife and I. That when his younger brother was running around in pretty princess dresses and we didn’t bat an eye, he learned it’s OK to be different.

That no matter what others think, who you are is fine.

That’s going to be a fight, especially for the tween/teen years which are all about standing out by fitting in. But we’re well on our way.

I think, ultimately, this is why geek culture has become such a “thing” over the last decade. It’s about acceptance. It’s filled with people who “didn’t fit in” to what the norm was, who learned to embrace differences in others because they had their own rejected and in some cases belittled.

Sure, there is infighting because every group on earth has jackholes in it (I believe that’s a law) but by and large it’s an accepting bunch.

Everyone wants to be accepted and liked—even the people who try hard to make you think they don’t. On some level, they absolutely do.

Hopefully my wife and I can put together a pair of kids who will help them feel that way and who will always feel that way themselves.

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

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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.

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