Monday, June 25, 2012

There be giants!

"Please sir, no photos of giant man's crotch."
In a home with three teenage and preteen boys… the only thing I can do now is look up. 

I knew the day would come. The day when my little boys, became… well, bigger. Not yet men, but definitely NOT boys anymore. Their voices are all changing, they eat like a ravenous pack of wolves and they continuously grow out of their clothes like it's a bad running joke. I'm just not laughing.

Giant thoughts.
Discussions about which super hero I would rather be or who would win; The Empire or The Borg have not yet gone away but are now interspersed with discussions about which swim suit models are hotter; Maxim or Sports Illustrated.

Then of course, there's the matter of porn.

"resisting pop culture is futile..."
Every computer and phone in their world has attempted to access 'nudie' pics, sex sites and adult sexual content of every kind. Governing this access–and policing it– is a full time job. It mortifies the boy's Mom and their sister dry heaves every time the subject is brought up. As a parent, my job is to monitor this behavior and make sure it is clear–beyond any shadow of a doubt–that this stuff only gets into your head and quickly becomes an obsession. But that, as any Conan (The Barbarian) comic book would say, is another tale.

Giant confusion. The world is a confusing and intimidating place for today's young people. Lots of revisionist history (like Sherlock Holmes stopping World War I or that Abraham Lincoln declared war on the Southern Confederacy because they held an alliance with Vampires), lots of mixed messages about the road to adulthood, sexuality, education, politics, nutrition and morality.

"um, how do I turn the page again...?"
I can't imagine the world makes much sense to today's young people–although that at least is consistent with the world view from when I was their age. Modern music is wrought with keyboards, synthesizers and re-mixes. Movies are re-imagined or re-booted. Books are read on tablet devices (like iPads) and video games are a part of–or replacement for–recreation. Everything is fast-food, push-of-a-button and instantaneous. There are 500 channels, free online games and Smart phones more powerful than the computer systems that sent Astronauts to the moon in the 1960's.

Giant aspirations.
And that brings me to back to real-life. Today's generation (they are "millennials" at last note) have role models that are rappers, actors and athletes who have entourage's and tons of 'hotties'. Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur and satisfaction in anything needs to be instantaneous. I have endless discussions with my kids over what career will make them the most money. Very little conversation about the meaning of work or having an understanding of a fulfilling career.

My kids: their future–our world. Giant Expectations.
But, alas, there is promise for tomorrow. My daughter, who has an incredible aptitude for art–painting, illustration and photography–has aspirations of being a Marine Biologist. My eldest son is fascinated by law (after a glorious career in the NBA!). One of the twins harbors a passion for medicine, inquiring about Harvard Medical school and at age 11 had in-depth inquiries about cardiovascular surgery. The other twin shows incredible compassion for animals and is considering veterinary science–after a career in the military and/or the NBA. Hey, they can dream can't they?

With an abundance of distractions, mixed messages from society and rampant levels of ADD and ADHD to contend with, I am surprised these kids can even spell the things they are discussing about their futures. As we all know, life has a funny way of helping us decide the course of our fate, but with bright eyes and ambitious goals at heart–well their future just might have some promise. Daily, I look to the heavens and give thanks for their health, ambition and smile at the prospects of tomorrow for each of them. For all I know, they may all just might be giant men (and one woman) who vastly underperform.

But who knows, in the end, they might be giants.
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