My wife asked me last night, “What do we do if our kid turns into a person who doesn’t believe in the things we believe in?” I told her, “We feel disappointed and try to love them anyway.” For her sake (and probably for mine, too) I tried to make it sound simple, but I really can’t imagine how I’ll really feel if my adolescent son orders the veal when we’re out to eat. (My wife read that last bit over my shoulder and said, “We’re not paying for it.”)
There’s really no telling what they’re going to be like as a child. I know we have a lot of pull as parents, but then there are those kids that are fanatically into trains, or planets, or birds, and no one has any idea where it came from. Non-musical parents turn out violin prodigies. I have visions of the doctor looking up from between my wife’s legs and saying, “Congratulations! It’s a meat-eating conservative, and he’s holding his NRA membership card!” Honestly, I lie awake at night wondering what I’ll do if I have a typical sports-loving boy. I have no interest in pro sports. I couldn’t tell you who was playing what on a given Sunday, and I can’t fathom spending several hours watching a game in which I’m not related to a single player. We’ve been told if it’s your kid out on the field, you will automatically have a deep and abiding interest in the game, but I’m still skeptical.
At some point, they have to find their own identity, and sometimes that means they have to rebel against what they know – meaning us. I guess, in the long run, all I can hope is that my kid will be someone that appreciates that there’s a world beyond themselves, that they’re not the center of it, and they have a responsibility to try and make it a better place. That, I can live with.
42 days until baby.