Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

The Myth of the One-eyed Child

Posted: October 1, 2013 in kids, life
Tags: , , ,


As I was having lunch at home to day, the middle child was thrashing about and wondering aloud, “Where de top of my Combatacon Brawoollll?” For those unfamiliar with this particular English dialect, he was looking for the top of a wooden toy tank. I had no idea where the tank was having just arrived home for lunch, but I was quickly informed by Mom – the knower of the placements of all missing things – that Brawoolllll’s top had been confiscated and placed on the appropriate high shelf to protect the baby from injuring himself on the 5 inch long wooden dowel cannon. Initially it all made sense, but then I wondered to I, and aloud to the rest of those gathered, “Seriously, how many one-eyed kids do you know?”
It is the job of any good responsible North American progenitor to protect their progeny from life’s visible hazards. Don’t run with scissors! You’ll trip, you’ll poke an eye out, you’ll go blind! … Don’t throw those stones! You could hit someone in the eye and they’d go blind! … No you can’t use your own knife to cut your food! You’ll slip, you’ll cut your finger off, you’ll go blind … I mean you’ll lose a finger! We’ve all heard it, and I’ve certainly said it. All that being said, where are the teeming hordes of one-eyed and fingerless children? I’ve never in my life met a kid with an eye patch that wasn’t part of an ill conceived Captain Jack Sparrow Halloween costume. So what are we worried about?
I’ll suggest to myself first, and you second that maybe we all take a breath, relax, maybe do some hot yoga and just let kids enjoy life apart from our paranoia once in a while. I’ll still put the baby proof lock on the household cleaners cabinet – I’m not a MONSTER – but maybe if I learn to relax a bit more it will rub off on my kids too. Maybe.

crazyman-01.jpgI realize that I’ve always been a little weird, and that I quite often see the world just a little differently, but am I really as hopelessly deluded as some people would lead me to believe?  Am I really as crazy as that Shining guy over there?  I’m set to become a parent here in about five weeks and I’m not worried about it.  It’s not that I’m not excited about it, I am absolutely overjoyed about it, but it doesn’t scare me.  It doesn’t worry me.  I don’t lose sleep about it.  I don’t spend time mulling it over endlessly wondering, “Whatever shall I do?”  I just don’t think it’s the completely life shattering event that so many people think I should think it is.

 Being a parent will absolutely be a big part of my life, but it’s not going to become my life.  The Ben that currently exists will not cease to be.  I will still love watching football on Sunday afternoons.  I will still try to win that elusive second title in my fantasy football league.  I will still enjoy golfing.  I will still love spending time with my wife, family and friends.  I will still play video games.  I will still enjoy the same music and read Douglas Coupland novels.  I will not cease to exist as I am, and neither will Jenn.  We will just have a great addition to our lives that will make them that much better, not bring them to a crashing halt.  Having a child is not the end of my life, it’s just a great addition to it.  I guess I’m just tired of the people who keep telling me to enjoy my life as it is because it will never be like this again.  I can accept that and that’s fine with me, but I refuse to let one new aspect of my life bring the rest of my life to a tragic end.  Am I really that screwed up here?

I remember when I got married, so many friend and well meaning onlookers tried to tell me that my life would never be the same.  I wouldn’t be able to make my own decisions anymore, I wouldn’t be able to watch football all sunday afternoon anymore, I wouldn’t be able to golf anymore, and that basically “I” would cease to be.  Well, four years into I’m proud to say that those misguided people were dead wrong.  I am still who I am and Jenn has no desire to change that, that’s why she married “me”.  She’s still who she is and that’s why I married “her”.  I think we are both better people because of our relationship but neither of us ceased to be because of the others involvement in our life.  We were important additions to eachother’s life but we did not take over eachother’s life.

I guess I see becoming a parent as being very similar.  It is definitely a change in life, but it doesn’t mean that who I am has to cease to be.  I am who I am and I don’t see it changing (other than growing better) anytime soon.  I look forward to being a dad, but I don’t plan on ceasing to be Ben because of it.