Last night, as I was making a rather elaborate meal for my husband and myself (homemade orange chicken….oh my Hades, it was wonderful) and I stumbled across a video by Mayim Bialik. It was all about how she decided to be a geeky mom for her kids, and what that entails. So I thought I may as well put this into my own perspective, write down the ways I intend to parent my children based off my childhood.
So here we go:
As a child, I was the youngest. Not only in my nucleus family, but in my larger family as well, until I was 9 years old and an older cousin had her first child. My mother’s life did not happen at all the way she had envisioned it. When she was still in college she married my brother’s father. From the stories I’ve gleaned, there was quite a bit of conflict from day one, a lot of him drinking and sinking money into alcohol, gambling, and other women. My mother quit college and got a job in retail, then had my brother. When he was just a few years old, his father left. There are a few stories that go in this timeline here, but they are not my stories to tell, they are my mother’s. Long story short, he left to be with another woman. Along comes my dad, who sweep my mother off her feet, promising the world, as many womanizers do. He was my father, but I have no delusions on who my daddy really was. Not to sound repetitive here, but about the same thing happened. Another layer to this was the abuse he doled out to my older brother. Some call it parenting, I, and I’m sure my brother, call it abuse and preferential treatment. I grew up with a father who attempted time and again to tell me that I was “better” than my brother. Suffice it to say, my brother was quite angry with me for many years. Since growing up, we’ve both been able to recognize where our emotions really came from and have been able to move on.
That’s a quick synopsis of my childhood. This isn’t the happy times, the times we really felt like a family, the times mom made us homemade meals nightly and made us brush our teeth, or when our grandparents took us on vacation every year and taught us our work ethics on the farm or in the automobile shops. It’s not the family game nights or the Christmas puzzles we did together. But it is the reasoning for so many of my choices as an adult.
Here’s how I would like to raise my children in the ways of the Geek…
- I want to read more to them. I mean, we read. And I definitely read. But it’s always been more of a solitary endeavor, so realizing that the kids need me to read to them as well was actually a bit of a shock to me. I don’t know why. It’s not like kids are born knowing how to read, or even born loving books and knowledge. This is learned behavior, and I am just the person to teach it to them.
- I’m going to remember to put down the whisk, or the spatula, or the broom, and play. When my son runs into the room singing the latest version of the Five Nights At Freddy’s song at the top of the lungs and so quickly I can’t even catch the lyrics, I’m going to dance with him, and swing him around, and sing along if I can. I’m NOT going to shush him and tell him to go to his room.
- We are going to be an outdoors family. I mean, we already are, what with running a farm, you kind of have to be….but we are going to intentionally take our sword fights outside, and we are going to picnic, and swim, and build outdoor forts, quit possibly for some sort of dual or fight for kingdoms
- I’m going to show them all my nerdy shows I watched in high school but hid from even my closest of friends. Buffy, Sabrina, Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers…..we are going to learn it all, read it all, and watch it all. Then we are going to discuss it all, because it all has amazing life messages intertwined with really horrible graphics and witty one liners. But more importantly, I’m going to show them that there is nothing wrong with being a nerd, or a geek.
- I’m going to let them choose. If they want superhero stuff, by god that’s what there will be! If they want Princess stuff (even that pink, frilly stuff, and not a combat boot in sight) then I’ll so it all with a smile. Name a theme and they will have it (for example, my 3 year old was Bonnie the Bunny for Halloween..creepiest fucking thing I’ve ever made). I will never shame them for their likes or preferences. I know what that’s like and no child should ever feel that way.
Well the heathens are yelling so that’s all the time we have tonight.