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Dadhood

So being a dad is pretty good, at least for the rare moments when I manage to not be an infantile whiner who just wishes he was playing video games.

Most of the time the kids do nothing, and it is excruciatingly dull. Then one of them tries to do something majestically dangerous or destructive and you have less than 2 seconds to stop it.

And then minutes will pass.

One part I find interesting is looking for parts of myself in my children. To be able to view the normally invisible mannerisms fluttering about outside my own head is a unique part of child rearing.

That said, it also seems a dangerous one, since it is far too easy to misallocate a tendancy to the wrong parent. It also makes what they're doing in many ways about you, which rarely leads to the best parenting.

Trying to guide a child to any of their infinite possibilities seems a maddening prospect already. Doing so while peering into an infinitely empty mirror of mirrors for insight seems to add an unnecessary and vain level of complexity.

Which is rich of me to say at this point when parenting largely resembles keeping foreign objects away from them and trying to get them to feel bad about hitting things.

I've begun telling my son stories during bedtime. The good news is that he likes them. The bad news is that he often opts to completely skip reading books with words that might help increase his literacy in order to go straight to my made up stories.

I was stressed at first, and would only tell him stories when I had one prepared, but I soon learned that a single 4 year old really is the best possible audience for impromptu story telling. Anything goes and if you pause long enough he'll fill in a suggestion that keeps things moving.

Tonight Clarence the Mummy setup a fake display of Egyptian antiquities near the waterfront in hopes that the infamous "River Bandits" would show up and take the bait. They did, and Captain Kelvin and his first mate, who is a gigantic humanoid frog gave chase, only to discover that the burglars could turn into sharks when they hit the water!

It is delightful nonsense. I know stories are supposed to introduce archetypes and convey a moral framework, and I have no idea if telling him stories like this will warp him terribly.

All I know, is that all the knowledge I need to do my job did not exist when I was born. In fact, a bulk of it wasn't even made up until 10 years ago.

I don't know what future my children will live in, or what it will require of them. The one thing I do know, is that nobody else does either. Under those circumstances being good at confidentally making up nonsense seems a pretty useful life skill.

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