Thursday, September 04, 2008

My Wife and I and Our Children

I have to give my wife credit. Where as when we first moved into our house after getting married and I saw fit to take the initiative in customizing the house as we needed - spending every weekend at Home Depot or Wal-Mart buying something, insuring that the law became the lawn that I could be proud of. Despite the fact that it took about 3 years and 3 summer seasons to get the landscaping as I wanted it without any external influence from my wife - I customized it as such.

Despite the normal ups and downs as experienced between any person - I must say that she has taken the very same instinctive initiative with my children.

It is my general rule that any woman who has shown that she has my children's best interests clearly in mind gets a big time pass on any other perceived "deficiencies" that she has in my own person (aka selfish) needs that might not be met when I need them.

My wife and I have a generally understood "understanding". I take care of the house and the bills. She takes are of the kids. There are so many things that I don't concern her with regarding the house in turn she fills in the details that I would likely pass over regarding the details of the kid's schooling, scouting or athletic participation.

As much as I hate to admit it - the female is on top of more things "human related" than I am inclined to tune into.

I am bound to that which I learned from my father. He took care of the macro-infrastructure of the house. My mother handled the day to day issues with the kids. When dad beat us - we knew we were in trouble. Those 2 inch thick belts were no joke. That authoritative voice and the threats they communicated where no joke.

I try to project my ownself upon my son. Whenever he tears up something in the house that he has no business doing - I can't help but remember that which I had done in kid. As a parent you don't even feel like beating your kids at time. At some point if you fail to beat them you are not doing your job.

My daughter and son are two different people. The daughter doesn't need any help in school as she "gets it" automatically and is smart. My son needs someone to stay on top of him or he is most content with his video games or television. The boy will drive you to curse if you seek to focus his attention upon the task at hand.

For the little boy - there is a battle over wills. I try to be the playful dad to my son as I realize that a 100% stern dad will not be understood by his 6 year old mind. When he hits me out of anger I accept that this is his strike against authority.

At the same time I know for a fact that if I don't impose my authority upon him now that future years would be tougher for the both of us.

My biggest point of pride is the fact that today I can talk to my own father as a PEER rather than as a "superior/ subordinate". We can compare notes about "our families" and he can impart a bit of understanding about his own perspective about what was going on when I was a child - biased toward my own mother's perspective on things. I can match wits with him just as I am talking to one of my buddies. At the same time there is that unspoken respect that I have for him that I won't degrade to a certain level. The hardest part of it all is the realization that I am talking to a man with the same lusts and degraded thoughts that I might have regarding how even though I am committed to one woman there are thousands of others of alternatives that I have to deny myself to on a continuing basis.

The challenge for the little Black boy is to get him to conform enough into the system of education and discipline to the point that he might learn how to learn. As a father I seek to provide him with a set of limits that he has to operate within before there are consequences to be had for not following the rules.

No doubt my daughter is easier to raise than my son at this young age. I hear that it shifts around during the teenaged years.

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