Friday, August 13, 2010

My child's world

It's weird for me to think how different the world my child will grow up in will be from the world I grew up in.

My child will grow up in a world where the iPhone and whatever generation of phone technology is common. It snuck up in some ways, but seriously, normal people walk around with a combination of communicator and a tricorder from Star Trek, and my child won't blink at that fact. It will probably think it's silly that I think anything of it.

My child will grow up in a world of completely after Netflix Instant. I grew up reading books about movies I had now idea how, or even if, I'd ever see. Not a couple of idle rare movies, but dozens... hundreds of them. I remember being somewhere around 10 when specialty stores opened that sold video equipment for thousands of dollars and video cassettes in big ugly boxes for something like a hundred dollars. I used to spend hours wandering through it. Even if it shares its dad's strong interest in such things, it will be the rare movie it dreams of the chance to see.

In the excellent review/essay Countess Dracula, Peter Nellhaus notes, "Nowadays, it seems that the Motion Picture Association of America's idea of a PG film involves animatronic animals that say rude things, and have comically anti-social behavior. When the rating, first 'M', then 'GP' and finally 'PG' was doled out, it was for films that may have been a bit more extreme than the kind of films that would have simply been approved under the old MPAA code."

My child will grow up with me, so it's stuck watching Planet of the Apes and The Beastmaster, whether it likes them or not. It won't have to worry about seeing the occasional errant naked body part.

But it's strangely less likely to go out with its friends and happen upon such a movie. A peculiar protection, considering that it will be way more likely to happen upon hard core pornography... something I'm not that happy about, and am glad I don't have to deal with for a few years.

It's strange to imagine how much different my child's childhood will be than mine was.

And yet there are important ways I want to make sure it's the same. I will have books in my house. It will grow up reading, and being read to regularly. It will be supported to becoming the person it is rather than pressured to become whatever I might imagine... which, I suppose, it ultimate a dork who sits around reading dorky books and watching dorky movies.

It'll probably be stuck with that, in much the same way I feel an irresistible draw to Alien rip-off that comes along because of my dad's predilections. But I'm comfortable as well that there are no guarantees.

I will eventually be an embarrassment, it's just a matter of time.

But I plan to do as much as I can to build a strong enough relationship that we can get through that with as little trauma as possible...

I know. Wish me luck.

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