With couples going hell-for-leather in lockdown - spending time in the best way possible, I feel - I have half a dozen friends that are pregnant. The others could just be fat, mostly the chaps. The COVID baby-boom is upon us, which has startled me into thinking what it would be like if I was lucky enough to have children. Let’s be clear here, I have no clue what I’m talking about. But if I’m ever lucky enough to have kids, it’ll be fun to remember how bombastically naïve I was.
Since my Dad brought me up whilst my mum went to work, I think I’d echo his sentiment that any bed-time when the kids were still alive, and having the same number of limbs they started out the day with, is a win. That’s the benchmark of success, right there. Any future Reed will be inundated with books from an early age – kids like Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations or Spinoza’s Ethics, right? I don’t watch television much, but can see it as vital crutch when I want to zap them with zombie juice. Or zap myself. I would like them to learn a language or play an instrument, but the latter must be the quietest instrument known to man. A dog whistle or air-guitar seem like solid investments.
Although I think every parent wants their children to be the best footballer or athlete there has ever been, I already know that doesn’t matter. Like my parents did for me, I will try to encourage Reeds 1 through 5 to take up languages or a self-defence class to help them with confidence, self-discipline and resilience. Some of the calmest people I’ve ever met were also the deadliest. A muay-thai boxer springs to mind, and that silent contract killer I met in Malaysia (true story).
Pocket-money has to be earned. When a teenager asking my parents what their last slave died of, a cannon shot came back ‘don’t need slaves, that’s why we had kids!’ This now seems most reasonable. I already know Reedondo/a will be good at some subjects and bad at others, and that none of it really matters. From my own experience, I’d hope they go to university, but only if they find a subject they love. Otherwise, take your time. Perhaps easier than detailing all the things I’d like to do would be listing the things I wouldn’t want to do . . . namely this:
I heard from a friend recently that he always wanted to be a tattoo artist. A talented drawer when younger, he was disruptive at school, and therefore was told what subjects he was allowed to take in a meeting with a Principal. The school Principal effectively decided his fate at fifteen years old. Astonished, I asked him what his mother had said to all this, to which he replied, ‘it was my mum that set up the meeting with the principle in the first place.’ My friend was told – told! – that a tattoo artist was beyond him, and that he should set his sights a little lower. He dropped out of school entirely a few months later.
I’ve since addressed my goals for Reeds 1-5. As long as they’re alive, and I never tell my kids to set their dreams a bit lower, that’ll be good. Any advice from actual parents would be most welcome.
Writing and writing...