Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I picked up a strange dog the other day. I usually hate doing that kind of thing, but it was for someone I didn't really know, and they were losing their dog because of me. So I picked it up.

Grocery shopping. Its relatively fun. You get to try a few new things, and maybe you'll find something cool. Like flan. I found flan yesterday. The spanish custard. I think I'll name my kid Flan. Or at a friend's suggestion, Love. Then he'd be Love Jones. That'd be funny for at least the first six months of his life. Then he'd hate me. Which would give me a jump on the teen years at least.

Life is like the current. You can fight all day long if you want, but in the end, you always end up going where it takes you.

Which makes me wonder what type of parent I would be. My first inclination would be to raise my son the way I was raised. To be a dictator father whose wrath is to be feared only second to God's. Honestly, until I turned twenty one, I was afraid of my father. I didn't want to tell him where I was because I was afraid he'd be upset, or that he'd tell me to come home. I guess at some point, I realized I could pretty much go and do what I wanted with impunity, but still. . .my dad scared me. I would lie cheat and steal not to have my dad find out about what I'd done that was wrong. Good example: When I was in fifth grade, I used to get a lot of detentions. I took the first one I got home. My dad was pretty furious. There was a beating involved, and a lot of yelling. I felt horrible, like not just a mischievous son, but a bad human being whose worth was debatable. A few weeks later, I got another detention. I literally cried in class upon receiving it. I did not want to take this home, to tell my dad that I was yet again a failure. A kid who lived up the street from me, who I'll call Coop, he was pretty sympathetic to my plight. Mainly because he'd met my father. So he told me to go talk to the teacher about something. And he stole the pink slip (the teachers copy) of my detention slip. We threw the whole thing into the gutter at the top of the street. I liked Coop. Whenever he got detention, I'd steal his slips, and whenever I got detention he'd do the same for me. We got a lot a detention and didn't serve any of it.

My point, I guess, is that I didn't modify my behavior because of my fear of my father and the punishment I'd receive. I just started to lie and steal because of it. So I don't think that made me a better person. The more I really think about it, the more I think that I, as a parent, would do much more good if I just reassured my son/daughter that I loved them, and that their actions make me sad or happy, not just angry. If I'd known, like I know now, that my actions made my dad sad or disappointed, I'd never have gotten detention, period. And when I think back to all the things I forged, stole, lied about, or just plain covered up to keep my father from knowing what a bad human being I am, it makes me wonder if I truly am a "better" person because of it today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sorry about your dad..but I can make flan from scratch!!