Sunday, 4 May 2008
Things to Teach the Boy
(I'm starting a list.)
You will never finish everything that you will decide you want to do. Even if you started now.
On the one hand, this can be depressing. On the other hand... no, there's really no other hand.
The point is, choose wisely how you spend your time.
Don't stand in the middle of highways at any time of day, but most especially in the middle of the night. You would think this would be obvious to more people, but apparently it needs to be explicitly said.
One of my favorite life lessons is in a quote from Aristotle:
Anybody can become angry - that is easy
but to be angry with the right person
and to the right degree
and at the right time
and for the right purpose,
and in the right way -
that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
I'm still working on this myself.
But if we can teach it successfully, we'll have done a significant chunk of the whole raising-a-decent-human job.
The listing of various forces and entities which will make this difficult -- say, by:
- spreading guilt by association;
- sowing suspicion and resentment against entire races/nationalities/categories of people;
- telling you, the special special audience that THOSE PEOPLE think they are BETTER THAN YOU / are LAUGHING AT YOU / are LOOKING DOWN ON YOU and HOW DARE THEY, those elitists, god, don't you just want to go punch every last one of them in the face! (P.S. Buy my book.)
.. is left for the reader's contemplation at this time.
"Be angry with the right person, to the right degree. The More You Know."
Your mother is awesome.
I'd add this one: respect others until they prove to you they don't deserve respect.
Add a comment...
How 'bout some advice for the parent?
You're going to break your child, either physically or mentally, at some point in the future. It's unavoidable. Expect it. Minimize the damage. Move on.
For example, K (who will be 4 in August) has the ability to swear like a sailor. She uses proper grammar & context, which is frustrating as part of my brain says "YEAH! She used it correctly in an appropriate situation! She's so smart!" while the other part says "Yeah, we'll be the parents getting that weekly phone call from the school 'guess what your child said today'".
She's also swallowed an aquarium rock that almost made it to her lung, split her forehead open on the glide rocker (only a small scar. thanks, Doc!), and smacked her chin on one of our computer chairs. It sounds horrible when it happens to someone else's kid, but it's THAT MUCH WORSE when it's your child. There's nothing like rushing home to find a blood-soaked towel pressed to your child's head & a freaked out Mommy to make you feel like the World's Worst Parent.