I’ve long thought that the concept of “quality time,” popularized in the 80s by self absorbed, materialistic, lazy bastard boomers, too wrapped up in their own concerns to actually stay married and raise their children themselves, was a great steaming pile of horseshit.
You know, like most of the shit ideas boomers came up with.
Kids don’t want some extra special, 2 hour outing, every other weekend “quality time” bullshit. They want you there. They need you there.
They don’t need a special trip to Canada’s Wonderland or the Lion Safari, or Marineland, or Niagara Falls once a month.
They need you to:
- put the on the school bus, and be waiting there to greet them off it.
- fall asleep during the 17th viewing of Despicable Me 2.
- help interpret the instructions on their Lego and Meccano kits, but not actually put anything together.
- tell them it will be okay, I can fix that, when their treasured Christmas junk breaks.
- watch them do the monkey bars for the 32nd time that afternoon, and congratulate them like they just did it for the first time.
And the last two years, I have been blessed to be there.
I’ve also been cursed to seen fathers, hell even mothers, ignoring their kids. Buying them crap instead of being there. Raising entitled little barbarians instead of functioning human beings.
Fuck me, if you didn’t want to raise them, why the fuck did you have them? For 30 years I never wanted kids. Before I met my wife I was looking into getting a vasectomy to make sure I never had them.
One amazing woman caused me to examine my priors. Several tried to no avail because I knew, deep in my guts, that I didn’t want them. And I truly, genuinely didn’t, right up until I did.
And we had kid 1, and wanted another.
And then we had kid 2, and wanted another.
And then we had kid 3, and stopped because I was getting a little long in the tooth for more babies.
The only regret I have about having kids is that I started at an age where 3 really was my limit. Kid 3 was devastated when he learned that he couldn’t watch mumby build another baby in her tummy. His brothers got to see her build him, and he wanted to see her build a baby brother/sister.
I got to thinking about all this lately as I’ve been reflecting over the shit ball two years we’re only now just starting to maybe ease our way out of. I got report cards for kids two and three, and while the reports are generally pretty good, I do notice a little slippage here and there.
More noteworthy, I see that kid 2, who is possessed of one of the finest built in bullshit detectors I’ve ever seen, has really done me proud. His worst mark is in social studies, where it appears that he didn’t swallow the company line on B(urn)L(oot)M(urder), and he’s not swallowing the company line on face diapers, either.
One of the few benefits to come from the insane policies emanating from our totalitarian overlords in Ottawa and Toronto is that I’ve spent a whole lot more time with my kids the last two years than I had any right to expect. Guys my age are in the office, not the house, and the opportunity to be for all intents and purposes a stay at home dad, has been literally life saving.
No, seriously, being home for them literally saved my life last year. But that’s a story for another day.
It has been a true blessing. I’m closer to my boys than ever before, and I’ve had the opportunity to sit with them, and talk with them, and give a them different perspective on life.
So, in reading the comments to kid 2’s report card, I see that I am raising a skeptic. An anti-establishmentarian, contrarian, bright little boy, blessed with all the stubbornness and determination of the Scottish highlands that yielded his ancestors. A little boy that makes up his own mind, and takes no crap from others.
Makes a cranky ol’ Daddy proud.
And because of the stupidity and Fascism of Ford and Trudeau, I get to be home to raise it, love it, revel in it. Most of all, I get to be there for it.