Up until Sio was born, I was pretty sure I didn't want to ever have children. I have a younger brother and two younger sisters, and I remembered their infancies as being an uninterrupted stretch of screaming, puking, and stinky diapers. I remembered their toddler years as those years where I had to make sure the little buggers didn't fall down the stairs, and couldn't leave anything I owned out in the open or within 4 feet of the floor, and even stinkier diapers. The rest of the years blended together into whining, uncompensated babysitting, not being allowed to do things that would cause the next one down the line to have a temper tantrum, having to give things to the "baby", etc. I just didn't really like kids that much.
Then I got knocked up, and luckily, I discovered that when a child comes from my uterus, they are inherently superior to all other children, at least from my perspective. Parenting can be hard - I hate punishing my kids, for example, because my parents were always so harsh, and I don't know if my natural punishment inclinations are recalibrated at a harsher level because of that.
But there are some special joys in being a parent. I experienced two of them this weekend.
1. Sio discovered Edgar Allen Poe. Poe and I had a mad love affair when I was 12 years old. I read every word the man published, including all his literary criticism. When your kids find something on their own that you love...you know how you feel an instant camaraderie towards someone who likes the same band as you? You know your kid is cool when they fall in love with something that you fell in love with, without any intervention or introduction from you.
She keeps reading me sections aloud, entranced by the poetic perfection of Poe's language.
2. Monkey sent some Republican candidates packing. Some of the local Dumbos who are running for the Board of Directors were canvassing in our neighborhood. Monkey answered the door, and told them that we don't vote for Republicans because Republicans care more about money than they care about people. Then she told them she doesn't like George Bush, and she doesn't trust people who support George Bush. That might be something she heard from me.