4:14 PM, Friday, November 15th, 2013:
When I think about what traits I'll pass down to my children, I have to admit there's more of a hope they just don't get the bad ones. My propensity for depression. A body that aches to be 200 lbs at all times. The inner-voice that tells me that all I need to do is explain something one, more, time and the idiots of the world will understand. They won't, and I can never just call them fuckwits at the BEGINNING and go on my way...
I try not to think of those 'other' traits, the good ones, because it seems futile. Pushing anything seems as though it will backfire or cause some unnecessary pressure and I really do believe as a parent you have little control over those outcomes. Sooooo much is IN that kid from birth.
Vienna is determined. Climb-up-your-body, stand-on-your-head-to-reach-it, determined. Doesn't care about 'no', has no fear of falling (though she does, often), will SCREAM even if you ignore her if she doesn't get what she wanted, determined.
That same determination will have her sitting in front of 30 books for 90 minutes studying every page trying to figure it out. Read her a book with too many words? She frustratingly turns the page because she's processed the pictures and wants to see what happens next. Now. Sure, a lot of this is normal 13 month-old stuff... but there is a clear personality and it rarely changes. It is an unending curiosity and an outright tantrum if not soothed at her pace. We'll see how that works out because, you're not beating my will, kid. Ya wanna see who wins the bedtime wars of 2015? BRING IT.
The funny thing about this is neither Talya not I had this as a kid. We were very shy and reserved. For me, it wasn't until my successes in talk radio that I realized what I was capable of if I just jumped. Since then? Sheeeeeeeit. I have done it all. Nearly everything by myself excuse no one else was around and I wanted to do it NOW. Couldn't fit instruments in the radio studio to record songs? Do the entire thing A Capella. So well, THAT became what the papers wrote about. Mine was truly a lemonade life. Every seemingly negative problem became an opportunity to do it in a way I would never have thought of. Hell I'm sitting in this backyard...
...which is really just a series of problems that I creatively solved. No one ever believes I didn't set out to build a minigolf course, but I just solved the problems at hand. And I did it by myself. <shrugs>
Interestingly this final wall was supposed to break that streak and I must admit it was nice having the neighbor help with the demo but when it came time to build, he got too busy at work. I had the day set aside, and although nailing/screwing a 100 lb (how funny is the beginning of THIS sentence?), ahem, nailing/screwing a 100 lb 6x8 foot fence section 3 feet in the air is honestly a 3 person gig (two to hold it, one to screw), as you can see in the video I Mcgyvered it by myself (even hauled each piece with my Camry using the SPOILER and it leaves me with this video...
'Do It Yourself'. One of those trait that I'm not really sure I want my kids to have. I mean, obviously things they can safely do themselves, sure... but I far exceed that. Beyond actual safety it's this weird inner-thought: "I bet I can do that..." and, honestly I usually can and usually do...
...Talya however is the opposite. The successes I had at WTVN that broke my fear of failure (and the successive failures later that made me stronger) didn't happen for her. Her first instinct is that she can't do it. She needs help. She works on this by the hour and man, with a kid and one on the way? There's no other choice. As a parent you have to GO. CHOOSE. Decide. You have I be OK with messing up. It's an immediate 'too late now! You're the boss! Annnnnnd GO!' If it isn't your nature, it can be intense... but every, single, day, Talya gets stronger. And Vienna is the beneficiary of that. Since before she could walk, Vienna had free reign-outside in our yard. Every fall was only around 4 inches and we let her find ALL of them. She fell, a lot. Scuffed her nose, ate some dirt... but she climbs around like a 2 year old. While we sit back an watch. Now she's no dummy, if you're near her she'll grab for your hand to step down from a deck but make no mistake she's using you for speed, not cause she has to. Fiercely independent.
I'm not sure whether her 'do it yourself' attitude is going to make her pre-teen years very enjoyable, but I'm certainly digging the show at 1. Also digging how much it's pushing Talya outside her comfort zone.
I am a lucky man.