I need to begin by thanking Greg Metzger for coming up with the idea of making a blog effort that simply reflects the things in life that we love, the interests that animate us and the ideas that drive us. It's cool to be asked to write with him, but also to be included in such a positive endeavor.
I have no idea what Greg might start off with on the blog. It's been hard enough deciding for myself. I love many people, many ideas and many things. Choosing one to chat about without a driving necessity of current news or conversations is a little daunting. The question is simply, "What do I want to talk about?"
The answer right now is: my kids. Teresa and I have been blessed with three amazing and amazingly unique boys. They aren't better than your boys or your girls. They aren't necessarily smarter, taller, more athletic or gifted in some or other area of expertise, but each in his unique way has been a huge blessing to our lives. So I think for the next few weeks I will be writing some of my thoughts on my kids, the Xmas season, gifts, blessings, traditions and how we are trying to make sense of it all in a hectic time.
In case you aren't acquainted with them, our boys are Hunter, Josiah and Isaac…
Hunter is now a high school senior and looking at schools where he might make that huge transition next year into higher education and the first tangible steps of independent life. He's a musician who plays the bass guitar and the tuba, and honestly whatever else he picks up after an hour. He's an artist, which is a genetic trait in my family. He is also an honest young man who empathizes with a diverse group of people around him, extending friendship and protection to them in his wake. His main academic interests are in technology, design and psychology, so he will probably one day build Skynet (click for a guide to welcoming our AI overlords), which will achieve sentience and destroy us all.
Josiah is our second boy, a sophomore in high school and avid gamer of the old school Nintendo breed. If you know our family then you know that Josiah was afflicted in his youngest years with the developmental disorder Autism. Struggling through that obstacle has fashioned him into an extremely intelligent, loving and imaginative young man. The experience of video games is able to find a notch in our son's reality that few people can understand. The game characters, their personalities and dilemmas take on a new dimension of life in our son's imagination. He knows that Mario is not a real person like you and I are, but he also can extend an empathy and relationship to Mario that is robust and engaging. I'll blog about this more later because it has some cool applications to how everyone might interact with faith, myth, imagination and life.
Isaac is our third son, a sixth grader, and mostly known by the monicker "Ike." Indeed. I like Ike. Ike is our reader who has learned the value of the printed page early in life and not only reads for school but for personal joy. He plays percussion in his school band, so yes he'll be one of those cool drum-line kids later on… I'm hoping. Unlike both of his older brothers at his age, Ike is an entertainer in the best sense of the word. He loves to entertain. He likes to pick his own clothes and wear socks that don't match. He likes to dance and share the funniest parts of his favorite cartoons like Adventure Time or internet entertainers like Rhett and Link. Who knows where Ike will head with his life? All I know is that it's going to be a lot of fun to watch.
What does it say about our family that so much of our Xmas shopping is done at Think Geek? I'm not sure, but our boys have requested an array of things from a spatula to an inflatable robot this year. For real. I'm kinda excited about Xmas morning!