Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Speakin' Out With My Geekin' Out - Part 1

Oh, I know, I don't really update here anymore. But blackhatmatt.com is out there as "my website" in a lot of places on the web, and I'll post this to my LJ as well as to Facebook and everywhere except Twitter ('cause I don't, not yet). But anyway.

Monica Valentinelli came up with this idea following on the heels of some pretty egregious nerd-baiting. The idea is: This week, post about how you geek. And I can get behind that. So I'm-a gonna talk about three of the ways that I geek. Ready? Go.

#1 My Kids: Best for last? Eh. I'm putting 'em first because they are.

Teagan was born in October 2004, and she keeps getting more awesome every year. She's internalized what I've told her about paying attention, about being kind to people, and about being curious. She loves listening to stories, telling stories, and generally interacting with the world (though, of course, she's as susceptible to the glowing lure of the Idiot Box as anyone - don't blame your kids for this, folks).

Last week, Teagan was playing soccer on her munchkin team and a kid on the other team got knocked down. Teagan immediately stopped, asked if he was OK and moved to help him up. This behavior, this kindness, which took me years and deliberate cultivation to achieve, is instinctive for her. I'm often surrounded by people who claim they don't like people very much, and so it's balm for my soul to be around my daughter, who does.

And then there's this monster:

Cael (born June 2008) does not have his sister's intrinsic regard for life and kindness, it's true. He's not a mean kid, just...enthusiastic in some ways. But he is scary smart, articulate and he has this cherubic smile that I know is going to get him in trouble one day. My biggest hope for him is that his resemblance to my father bleeds over into his temperament, because Dad was seriously one of the most respectful and well put-together men I've known. And Cael's a dead ringer for him.

At the same soccer game, Cael was hanging out with me while I watched Teagan play (Cael's munchkin team played before hers). He started head-butting my chest and I said, "What are you, a billy goat?"

Without missing a beat: "No! I'm a silly goat!"

Cael wins.

I geek out about my kids because I'm a parent. Most parents will geek about their kids given half a chance, and folks without kids will sometimes bag on us for that. That's fine. You don't have to get it. You don't even have to listen. Just understand: Literally everything in my life is less important to me than my kids, and that's not to say that other things are unimportant. It's just to say that when my daughter was born after that long night in 2004, I fell in love, and then it happened again three-and-a-half years later.

Part 2: Cooking coming later!