Fruitful: Great Expectations

I don't have expectations for my son.

I have expectations for myself.

I suppose all parents say that in the beginning.  No, strike that, I don't think that's true.  I'm sure there are plenty of fathers out there who are daydreaming about their star athlete son.  I'm guessing mothers are less ridiculous and probably daydream about their daughters just being able to do whatever they want in life, not getting paid 70% of what her brother makes, not having to be harassed by men.

Man, I'm glad we're not having a girl.

My expectations are that I will allow my son to be whoever he wants to be or, I suppose, whoever he really is.  I don't want to push him into anything, although I know that's next to impossible.  I'm going to influence him in ways I won't even be able to comprehend until years down the line.  He's not going to know any better and I'm going to ask him to watch Indians' games with me.  He's already got more superhero attire than is probably healthy for a child.  I'm imprinting him and he's not even here yet.

This a great article about Generation X, although I suppose it's less an article and more a rant.  But it's a rant that I agree with, one that is about as dead on as anything I've ever read about my generation (and it's true -- for a generation that was so noteworthy in the 90's, we've really been lost in the shuffle between the Boomers and the Millennials, who get way more press than is good for anyone).

One part of the article is about my generation being used to disappointment.  We're used to having things not go our way.  The reality of the situation is that our parents achieved an unprecedented level of success, so when it was our turn there was really no where to go but down.  And that was fine with us, because we were never sure we wanted that life, anyway.  We always had a strange distrust of it, like perhaps we knew we couldn't have it, so why become invested?

So what does my generation place on our children?  I think, because our parents achieved so much, Generation X were taught that material things were important.  Status was important.  Success meant a nice house in the suburbs, two nice cars, a trip to Disney every year or so.  Even if our parents didn't come out and say that's what they wanted for us, it was implied.  And that was fine.

But I never wanted any of that and I don't want any of it for my kid, not unless he wants it.  Maybe he will.  He's going to be growing up in something very close to the above scenario and maybe it will impact him so much that he'll spend his time trying to build a life like the one his parents have.

I hope not.  At least, I hope he doesn't do it because he thinks he's supposed to.

And yet at the same time I know children are just as likely to pursue things that are the opposite of what their parents did.  It feels like so much of what we, as children, do is to either follow in our parents' footsteps or dramatically avoid them -- intentionally avoid them.  In which case, I'm again influencing my son because of my behavior.

I know, this seems like some crazy, New Age philosophy going on here.  I know that Nicole and I are going to influence our kid(s) whether we like it or not.  I just hope we don't take anything away from him.

The funny thing about this is how high minded it is, when the reality is that raising a kid is generally anything but.  It's all well and good for me to have these big ideas about raising our son, but I'm not in the thick of it yet.  My ideas in theory are going to be very different when they're forced into practical application.

I have a lot of hopes for the Appleseed, but no expectations.

Let's see where I'm at with that in ten years.

Week 38!  We're 95% of the way there!