I had an awesome childhood. The part that was left to me, anyway. Sure, there were bullies and snoopy elderly neighbors, and Mom grounding me for something every couple of weeks. But back in the eighties we had freedoms, and incentive to use them. There was one TV in the house and we kids did not control it. But there were parks and playgrounds and bike rides, and ridiculously invented dramas to occupy our days. My friend from up the street, Brian, and I kept busy for a week spying on a highly organized assassins' ring, at least until it got boring pretending that the squirrels were after us. Long before I ever heard the name Boo Radley, I was dropping things into the hollow tree on Brian's front lawn. I imagine I fed plenty of feral cats and bats and mercenary squirrels a lot of Wrigley's spearmint gum (torn in half like my grandmother taught me) and the one transluscent white Lifesaver from the roll. I can accept red, orange, yellow, and purple, but not cloudy white. Better that the mercenaries eat those.
I want my kids to have awesome childhoods, too. My daughter's on her way, but my sons are young.They need to be taught not just to think outside the box, but also to read the box once you've flipped it around. Sometimes it says "NOT FOR CHILDREN" anyway. So why the fuck do they want you inside the box? It's a bloody trap!!
I want my children to collect. For years when she was younger, Ryan collected Buddha figurines. Mostly fat buddhas, but sometimes the thin peaceful ones. It made it a little easier to shop for her. Gave her something to enter in the county fair for a ribbon. And every once in a while she'd see one which would become a goal. A jade one, or a gold-plated one. It was a nice tradition.
My sons are 5 and 3. I think I could get the older one (Tommy) to collect Godzilla movies and merch, if he'll agree to be careful with it. MY 3yo, if given $25 and left to pick his own toy no matter what, would pick fairies. Or princesses. And I could run with that. I could contribute to his collection but could his father? I don't know. I just want my kids to feel safe here like I did. So they can feel okay riding their bikes to the park, or the grocery store for chips and juice.
I may have to kill the internet a few times and then bitch about mediacom until they get out of the house.