Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The last post

This is going to have to be the last of my updates. I enjoy writing them, and reflecting on the days events, but work has reached a point of critical capacity. Every conscious moment from here on out is dedicated to making sure my job is still there tomorrow. I cannot indulge further in humorous introspection, and family commentary.

Last night I went to bed at 1:23am. I had been working all night at the end of the house away from the bedrooms. I spend enough time in this arrangement that I know I can hear crying children. As I rounded the corner from the kitchen to the bedroom area, I saw Thor sitting, Samurai style, in the hall, completely silent, just staring at me with his angry David face. I have no idea how long he had been sitting there, but I am really starting to worry that he is plotting to murder me.

The last 5 days have been an eye-opening and enlightening experience. I wanted to share a few of the many Zenny moments of enlightenment with ya’ll.

1. Single parents are the sh*t. I don’t think we realize how geared our society is towards two-parent families. As I have walked a few feet in the single parents shoes I have seen just how many little things screw over the single parent. For example, I need a hair cut. I need more than a hair cut. I need someone to fire up a weed whacker and go to town on my back and neck. How does a single parent with psycho children get a hair cut?

2. Movies are great learning tools for parents. Watch what your kids do when they watch movies. I was showing Asher and Thor selected scenes from Jurassic Park. I debated about showing them the kitchen scene where the veloceraptors are introduced. Of course I decided to show them the scene thinking they would be frightened out of their socks. Instead, at the end of the scene, I stopped the movie, and Asher immediately said, “Dad, can we get a pet dinosaur?” Thor chimed in with a “LESOSERPAPTOR! LESOSERPAPTOR!” what ensued was a game of tag/hide-n-seek in which dad was the helpless kid, and Thor and Asher were the fun-loving “lesoserpaptors”.

3. Your offspring’s only purpose in life is to ruin everything you love. I love video games. I would go so far as to term myself something more than a gamer, maybe even a game connoisseur. I closely follow the development of new games. I view a finely crafted game as one of the greatest artistic collaborations ever created by humans. In what other medium do we combine painting, writing, music, technology, and acting with the goal of a piece of art in which the observer can interact, manipulate, explore and experience for hours, days or even weeks?

Obviously, I am not talking about the Halos, Maddens, Super Mario Karts, or other factory games that are churned out in third-world sweatshops. I am talking about the games that start as visions and are given life by a group of collective genius that have both the knowledge and creativity to spawn entire new worlds for us to experience.

For example, here is a screenshot from Darkfall, a competitive game set in a perpetual virtual world. Darkfall was created by a small group of Greek designers, and was published on a shoestring budget. The game is beautiful and engrossing. It is the kind of game that can suck people in and not let them go for years. Can there be any argument that this is anything but great art?

In contrast, here is a screenshot from Asher’s favorite game that he forces me to watch and sometimes even play with him. Every time I see this game, I die a little bit.

Mom, Dad – I am sorry for making you listen and give feedback on that wonderful band, New Kids on the Block. I am sorry for playing the Bengals, “Eternal Flame” over and over again, and singing along with it. I am sorry for trying to kill one of your great loves, music. If it is any consolation, the classical, jazz, folk, and world music genres combined in my ITunes are far larger than the rock genre.

4. If you are either a single parent, or a stay-at-home parent, whatever you do, DO NOT START FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF. The life of a care-giver sucks. No one is going to contest that fact. You can put all the lipstick on that job you want, but it still sucks. There is no positive reinforcement, no intellectual stimulation, and never a moment for yourself, and almost everyone has some inkling of just how bad it is.

But if you start feeling sorry for yourself, the delicate illusion of cupcakes and petunias that our society pretends is the care-giver life, your whole world will come crashing down.

This evening, I was laying on the floor trying to keep myself happy. I mean, I have it good, not just good, great. My primary care-giver task is only 10 days long, and I have an army of people (who are more concerned for the well-being of Asher and Thor than for myself) ready to swoop in at a moment’s notice. I have a home, money, comfort, food, my care-giver circumstances are the best of the best. And yet, there I was laying on the floor close to tears because I knew that between now and next Tuesday I was not going to get more than 10 minutes to take care of myself.

I sat there on that precipice looking down into an incredibly soothing black abyss of depression and self-pity. I had all the excuses, all the problems, all of the reasons, all I had to do was take that step, make that call, and embrace the defeat.

What miracles do single parents and stay-at-home parents accomplish every day, simply by not giving up?

Thank you Mom and Dad. Thank you Mary. But most of all thank you Emily. You could have done anything with your life. I have no idea why you picked this, and even less of an understanding as to why you stick with it.


Rachel said...

Oh I'm sad that you won't be posting on the final days. Very realistic and funny.

sylvia/ticklethepear said...

Really enjoyed your posts (and Emily's). Thought this was appropriate:


Dear The Onion,
Thank you for your article "Hot New Parenting Tips." My son has already begun to behave much better after only two nights of me staring at him in his sleep while I wear a wolf mask.
— Mary Grill, Marble Falls, TX

Nate said...

Sylvia - Absolutely hilarious. I need to spend more time at The Onion.

Mindi said...

Too bad you're too busy at work. These are hilarious!

I have a really hard time believing that you ever listened to New Kids on the Block.

Nate said...

Oh I did! The first 8 albums I ever owned were:
New Kids on the Block
Bengals - In your room
Sting (does it really matter what the name of the album was)
C&C Music Factory (was there more than one)
Orchestral Manuevers In the Dark
Depeche Mode - People are People
Camoflage - Sounds of Silence
Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mining

Thank you columbia house mail order CD gimmick.