Sunday, October 3, 2010

Think of the Children

I gave my wife a break this morning. The baby was sleeping, so I took our daughter to Target, where we bought a few books and, in keeping with my routine, covered all the facings of douche bag authors with copies of “Poker Face:  The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga.” My daughter didn’t want to tag along at first, but I bribed her by promising that we would listen to mommy music in the car. A month ago, her favorite singers were Ariel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the Disney Princess stable. These days she prefers Katy Perry, Pink, and the Black Eyed Peas. There are times when I wonder if this isn’t good- maybe my four year-old girl shouldn’t sing some of these songs. It is important to note that when Katy Perry sings of melting popsicles, my daughter takes her literally, and when she hears that Katy Perry is drinking Gin and Juice, it is the juice that piques her interest.  So I decide its okay. My job as a parent is to hold back the flood, like a great dam, letting the world trickle towards my kids at a rate they can handle.  It is not my job to pretend that there is not a boiling ocean of water on the other side of the dam. For some time, at least, my wife and I will be our kids’ greatest influences. Hopefully, in addition to everything else they hear, from us they will learn to:

Be kind - Don’t be soft, but be gentle. Don’t crawl over anyone on your way up, but don’t stop crawling up either.

Be patient - you know what you need to do. Do it and good things will happen.

Be quiet - if you’re great, people will know it; if you’re not, keep it to yourself.

Be happy - this is not easy. It takes some courage, oddly, simply to be happy.

Be the Serenity Prayer.

Be honest - just in case there is a God who is watching.

Love yourself.

Love someone else.

Be silly - and if you have kids someday, let them listen to music that makes them happy. There are many, many ills that can be cured by a kid giggling and dancing in the backseat.

 Oh…and don’t be preachy.

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