We all need a little "Peache"

2/7/18

The coolest thing about being a dad is watching Parker grow up. It’s also the scariest thing. I’m sure all parents had this fear of the unknown, but there was a certain level of calmness because we couldn’t see EVERYTHING.

My last post was about how cool technology is and how it has allowed me to share moments with my family back home; hopefully the facetime calls are a good substitute until we come home! However, there’s always a bad side. With that instant access comes instant opinions, instant news, instant love, instant hate, and lastly, instant EXPOSURE for our youth. I remember being blinded/shielded by a lot of things. I never knew how much my parents made and asking was OUT OF THE QUESTION. I watched the news without really understanding it, rarely, if at all, watched the evening news. I now understand why; there’s certain things that babies, toddlers, pre-teens just shouldn’t be exposed to. There is no way they should understand how the stock market works by 10, they shouldn’t understand what a “body image” is by 9, and they shouldn’t be exposed to adult conversations/situations before they can count to 10. By no means am I shaming you Instagram babies, and 4 year old bloggers. I’m just saying how scary it is to me for my baby to be fully exposed to EVERYTHING…she’s not even two!

That’s the backstory I guess. Parker being exposed to so much, so early. Some of it is great. The fact that she doesn’t only get to watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Arthur on PBS anymore, like I did is GREAT! There’s tons of shows she can watch and learn from. The fact that she’s exposed to so much political garbage (all sides) is not. The most kids should know about the president is that one day they can be that if they want; not all the behind the scenes, backdoor dealing that goes along with it. We’re taking away their youth because we want them to see the “real world”. Having cheese and crackers for breakfast is awesome to kids. They shouldn’t be put on a diet because society says they don’t fit in to OUR standards of what a healthy/cute/active child is. Society has forgotten what it was like to be a kid and just have fun. Everything is judged now. You’re a bad parent if you let you kid play outside in the dirt, you’re a bad parent if they’re wearing ugly shoes/pants/shirt, you’re a bad parent if a child doesn’t have on an outfit that looks dope from head to toe. NO, YOU’RE AN AWESOME PARENT WHO’S LETTING THEIR CHILD BE A CHILD. ****NEWS FLASH*** they’re babies, let them be babies! I love that Parker still has the innocence and curiosity. I hate telling her not to do it, but love when she looks at me and does it anyway. You know why? It’s because she hasn’t been exposed yet. She doesn’t know that grabbing Lucy by the tail might get her hand bitten, she doesn’t know STILL drinking out of the dogs bowl is gross. She’s just a baby doing baby stuff. I want her to continue to explore the world around her, but not expose her to the world around her…Is that even possible?

I’M GOING TO BE BRUTALLY HONEST

I know years down the line, she’s going to see the world first hand, and not from the comfort of our bed watching Frozen. I know questions about race are going to pop up. Unfortunately, I know she going to be called a N****r in her lifetime. These are things that I know. Society has shown me time and time again that no matter how far removed you think you are, it’s not far enough. But, why should she be exposed to that now? How do you prevent it? Do I shelter her to the point that she’s exposed to it all at once? Do I show her in healthy doses, that this is the real world and some things you see will not be pleasant? Do I just act as if she’s be the ONLY child this doesn’t happen to? “Just talk to her” “let her know all people aren’t like that” “it’s not like it was before”. These are all phrases I’m sure I’ll here after this goes public….maybe sooner than later. My worry is Parker will not know “Peace”.

In a time where tensions are high, and no one can say anything to anyone about anything, how do we communicate? No one is looking for conversation, but affirmation that their view is somehow superior than yours. I’m not exempt from this either. What’s the answer? For those who are religious, I know what your answer is. It’s the same answer you give every time. It’s the answer I’ve heard for 32 years. I turn to God for clarity. I pray for peace; whether that’s peace of mind, or peace on earth! For those who don’t believe, or believe differently, what’s your answer?

I’ll end with this. Two weeks ago, my wife and I were heading out to dinner. I came home from work, did a quick change and was ready to go. The babysitter was holding Parker as we closed the baby gate, and I said “peace”. She looked me square in the eyes, and said “Peasche”. She almost knows the word, my goal is to make sure she knows the meaning.