Monday, June 04, 2007

Family Jewels

No, this isn't another post about getting a boot in the fork. One post like that is enough.

I've always loved music. Loved it. Loooved it.

I wish I was a musician. But I'm not. And it's not for a lack of trying. I took well over a decade's worth of lessons, practiced mightily, and was in a number of bands. And from that experience I learned that my musical talent doesn't go much past my iPod-programming abilities.

I had come to terms with this years ago. But what pains me now is seeing the musical parents with their musical kids. Since I love music, I have cultivated a number of friends with musical talents, and most of their kids have this talent as well. So it's not an unusual sight for me to see dads and daughters playing guitars. Moms and their sons doing duets. I see them, and I wish I had that talent.

I've tried singing with my kids, but the chorus of any song I start seems to be 'Daddy, stop singing."

I also get sad when I see parents watching kids playing sports. As a single parent, I don't have the time or the money to give for these pursuits.

Musical parents with musical kids. Athletic parents with athletic kids. What was I bringing to my family, I wondered?

Yesterday, in the car, I overheard my nine-year-old daughter and my eleven-year-old son in a deep discussion. My son thinks that Catherine Tate's Lauren Cooper character is similar to Molly Shannon's Mary Katherine Gallagher, because both are annoying school girls. My daughter, on the other hand, thinks she compares more favorably to Michael Myers' Wayne Campbell, because both like to disrupt things, and are more intelligent than are originally perceived.

No, those weren't the words they used, but that was the conversation.

This is what I'm teaching my kids. I'm teaching comedy. How many pre-teens in North America today even know who Catherine Tate is, let alone be able to compare and contrast her to two characters who were popular before they were even conceived?

How many of them can go on a rant like Lewis Black? Or can sustain a seven-minute improv scene? Mine can.

When you think funny,* you have to analyze things--not only see what's there, but what's being hidden. You make connections that others don't necessarily see. It's called critical thinking.

No, this is not the only way to learn critical thinking, but it's the one this family uses. And we get a lot of laughs from it, too.

Last night, we were playing a video game. One of the characters we had to defeat was shaped like a toadstool. When my son beat him, he shouted 'Take that, you refugee from a slice of pizza!"

Not everything's educational, okay?

I love my kids.


*as opposed to thinking that you're funny. As a rule, most people who think that they're funny, aren't. People aren't funny. Their material may be, but they are not.


Blogger anandamide said...

i hear ya'. i may not be passing on a legacy of brains, good looks or talent, but the other day my 3-year old said "daddy, ask me what whale poop looks like"

me: "ok, what does whale poop look like?"
him: "I don't know....BUT ITS PRETTY BIG"

needless to say, i was pretty proud.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

That's awesome.

I'm another non-musically talented music lover with musical kids who don't seem to care about what they've got.

We really need to do a campfire this summer.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Guy Wonders said...

Although musical and athletic abilities are admirable, I think their wit and sense of humour will stand them in very good stead throughout their lives. . . .

9:06 PM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

What you do with them is not as important as that you're doing SOMETHING with them. You're a GREAT dad!

8:27 AM  
Blogger repsac3 said...

I'm with guy... Humor is always with you, needs no gear, and can lighten black moments, even if only a little.

Completely off topic (well, that topic, anyway), I saw this article, & thought it might be somethin' of interest here on these seas:

Did pirates really say "arrrr"? - By Christopher Bonanos - Slate Magazine

First off, I have it on pretty good authority it's pronounced "yeharr..."

10:24 AM  
Blogger JINKS said...

Wonderful post, it's great to see the "chips" from the old block isn't it? Makes all the other parent stuff we go through worthwhile.

10:51 AM  

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