Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GMO Parenting

I was watching a movie with Josie one day and there was a bully in the movie who picked on little kids. I asked Josie what she would do if she were one of the kids being bullied. She said she'd walk away. I told her I'd punch the bully in the nose, but that I'd be wrong and she, Josie, would be right.

I'm sure every parent, teacher, child psychologist, store clerk, street cleaner is appalled at my lack of parenting wisdom. But here's something I've learned recently as I think about what I'd like my kids to know about me after I'm gone: I'm not perfect but I'll try to be honest, even when it makes me look bad.

I want my kids to know that they're not me and that I don't WANT them to be me. I see parenting as a sort of genetic modification of personalities. Take the best traits of each of the parents to create a better human being.

When Josie was born, I told Tony, "I hope she takes after you in every way, except her skin." I wanted her to be kind, gentle, and patient like him, not a fireball of a devil like me. Tony just said, "Why? What's wrong with my skin?"

I hope our kids have Tony's patience, tolerance, calm, and wisdom. I hope they have my smarts, inner strength, self-reliance, and confidence. And my skin. But not my cancer. Definitely not my cancer.

1 comment:

Mylinh said...

Shin, so great to read your blog every day and hear that you are feeling stronger, better and have more energy. Here's hoping that the chemo is working and we will have you here much longer. I am not as religious as I once was, but I like to believe and I like to hope that things will work out. Your tenacity and strength of will is humbling. I wonder where you find the inspiration in any given day to pluck a moment from your daily activities, hold it in your hand, give a 360 review of it and write with such insights into humanity, or as Danny would say "the human condition". And you do it with such diplomacy...hard to do I reckon given the topics! Your interactions with your children captured on your blog, have been for me most profound in your fight with cancer. I keep learning; thank you for sharing, and you are doing such a good job managing it all with the kids. BTW, I would have said to my kids to hit the bully smack in the nose too. Walk away once, maybe twice, but not the third time. Confront the bully. Confront the cancer.