Friday, September 02, 2005

An Apology To My Kids


I owe an apology to my kids so here it goes...

Dear Knuckleheads,
I'm sorry I made you wait later than all your friends to get a Nintendo. I know you watched everyone else get Gameboys, XBoxes, etc., while you were gameless. I was afraid you would become addicted like I did when "Pong" and "Space Invader" machines started showing up in ...gathering places for young adults.

The TV is addictive enough, I was always amazed at how you could watch a favorite Disney movie over and over, or sing along to Raffi for hours.
I believe I can still recite all the dialogue in the "Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast".

I wanted you to become addicted to the real world, to bugs, birds, fish, and mud first. Instead of virtual adventures that you could start over and over when things went wrong, I wanted you to go on real ones. Real adventures that instill awe, wonder, ...sometimes fear. Everytime you faced some challenge, you stretched your comfort zone. Everytime you did something that at first seemed too scary or too hard, you strengthened your "can do" muscle.

I wanted you to reach for a book first when you were quiet and inside...or better yet, me and a book so we could read together...a zillion illustrated classics, Rascal, Raptor Red, (not Ol' Yeller, though...it's not good for you to see your dad cry)

So now when I see you as teenagers playing a video game, I don't worry.

I know I got to you first...

12 comments:

pablo said...

Well said! We took our little ones to the woods all of the time. You can tell from our photo albums. I think an appreciation has sunk in with them.

Hick said...

Amen and amen.

The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Love the post....thanks for the nice comment on the clouds...We lived in Florida many moons ago! Great photo of the Knuckleheads! I will stay tuned to your blog..

swamp4me said...

We owe our kids the same apology :)

Oh, and Ol' Yeller is forever banned from my house. I can't even look at the cover without crying...

thingfish23 said...

Coolest. Dad. Ever.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks everyone. I am always amazed at how much fun it is being a dad.

Pablo,
Any son who would help you cut trees in 100 degree heat must have an appreciation for both the woods and his Dad.

Hick,
Thanks. Love your nature photos.

Lyn,
You can see why the Knuckleheads are stairsteps from that photo. Now adays the shortest step has outgrown his older sisters, his mom, and soon...me.

Swamp,
Once...and only once, I made the mistake of showing an Ol'Yeller video as a "post test" treat in my classroom. Thank God the bell rang before...

Thing,
Thank.You. Very.Much.

Laura said...

We did the same thing with our girls! I was so glad to read this post. My girls are 12 and 16 now, but they spent more time outside, playing in the mud and dirt, and learning about nature at it's finest when they were younger.
Great blog here, I always enjoy stopping by to see what you've posted.

Laura said...

btw, I have added you to my blogroll, really enjoyed my visit here!

roger said...

right on dad! you gave them a great start. the ability to see the real world in the midst of the distractions of our modern life is priceless. becoming engrossed in a video game by choice is fun. being unable to live without a video game or some other distraction is slavery.

the natural world is a marvelous teacher.

Floridacracker said...

Laura,
Thanks for the kind words, our kids are 13,16,17, so we are at similar points in the parenthood journey.Thanks again for stopping by.

DPR,
You really hit the nail on the head with your excellent observation.

Deb said...

Beautiful post, Floridacracker. You're one great dad, and the kind of parent I do my best to be.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Deb...means a lot, because I read your posts about your kids and know you and "The Hermit" are providing a childhood to remember for yours. If that's all we do, it is enough.