New Mama Musings

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

May the Best Man Win

One of my earliest memories takes place in the back of our next-door neighbor's station wagon. The year was 1976 and I was five years old. I was getting a ride home from school along with my neighbor's kids, one of whom was my best friend Linda, also five at the time.

Somehow the subject of the ongoing presidential race between incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic nominee Jimmy Carter came up. Linda informed me that Ford was the guy to vote for and that he would win; I hotly replied that Ford was stupid and Carter would win.

Lest you think that Linda and I were some kind of politico child geniuses, I should mention that I don't think either of us knew what the hell we were talking about. What we did know was who our parents were voting for.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the kind of influence I hope to have on "my special little guy" as he grows up. Although all parents want certain things for their kids, I know that the kind of adult you turn out into the world is partly beyond your control. (Okay, mostly beyond your control.)

Still, that doesn't stop us from hoping, or trying. (I remain a staunch Democrat, by the way, so I know that some things stick.)

I would love to pass on to my son my love of reading, liberal outlook, concern for the environment, money management skills, and responsible work ethic. I hope from his dad he gets my husband's passion for music, grasp of abstract concepts, people skills, spontaneity, and the ability to laugh at himself.

What I'm really hoping for my son is that he take the best of us and leave the rest of us, as the saying goes, but that he also forge an identity that is uniquely and amazingly his own.

I can't wait to see how he turns out. And if he becomes a punk rocker or a literary journalist, that might be okay with me.


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