Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Becoming a Daddy

This past Thursday, in a hospital room marked 227, my life changed. In becoming a father, I experienced many sublime thoughts and emotions. One thought, though, could be categorized as much more ridiculous than sublime: I drew an association between the room number of my son's birth, and an identically-named NBC sitcom of the mid to late 1980s. Even more ridiculous: I am fairly certain that I never watched anything more than the opening credits of this particular sitcom. But part of growing up with limited entertainment options (three TV networks, no world wide web, no facebook, and for awhile no means to watch any movies on-demand) meant that one was hyper-aware of all the entertainment options that did exist, even if they were not availed of.

This is a world that my son will never experience. And it speaks to one of the things I have been contemplating for awhile now: the concept of "generation gap." While I would not want him to have to replicate the same exact childhood that I had, I would like him to have some awareness of what his old man experienced, or more generally, I want him to know that the world wasn't always the way that he will experience it. I want him to know that when I was a kid there was an entity called The Soviet Union that preoccupied the thoughts of even the children of America. But I also want him to know the more frivolous things-- that cartoons were a luxury for Saturday mornings, or that the cartoons his dad watched were interrupted every two minutes for public service announcements.

Ironically, technology, which is blamed for exacerbating generation gaps, might play a role in shrinking them. I'm not sure if my parents had favorite cartoons when they were growing up, but it was a moot point, because there was no way for me to see them. However, thanks to cheap DVD sets, my boy will be able to watch "The Superfriends." And if by any chance the topic of the number of his birth room ever comes up, a quick check of youtube will enlighten him as to the aesthetics of the 1980s sitcom theme song.

But for all of these accessible artifacts, there is still no guarantee that he will really know what his daddy was thinking about or experiencing at any given time, prior to or even after his birth. I would say that I didn't really start caring about what was going on in the outside world (defined as caring about what sports teams were good and which ones were bad) until I was about eight. If that is the case for my son, he won't have any real cultural awareness until 2018 (which seems unfathomably distant right now, even though 2002 doesn't seem that long ago).

So what can I do to help him retroactively meet his daddy? Well, I suppose he could read this blog. This was the farthest thing from my mind when I started writing it about five years ago. And though at some incomprehensible far away date he might sit down and wince at some of the entries, I am excited about the possibility that through them, I might be able to shrink the inevitable cultural and experiential gulf that will grow between us.


Blogger krausehouse08 said...

once again congrats azor!

9:54 PM  
Blogger Sandii_Mina said...

He is so tiny and cute. I bet he will grow up just fine. Take many pictures because those will become memories and then you can laugh about it later.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Tai Lee said...

Congrats on becoming a daddy. I definitely agree that becoming a parents will change everything. I'm not yet a parent myself, but a few word of advise. Be prepare for some sleepless nights, lots of diapers change, take a lot of pictures and note some of the first memorable things that the baby did (walking, first word, etc..). Its a lot of work, that's why its so special being parents.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Mo said...

Congrats Azor!!! Such an awesome miracle! Hope all is going well with the baby!

9:30 PM  

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