Thursday, August 25, 2016

It Happened to Me: I Raised a Total Punk

What if that's the title of my future memoir? If it is, tonight will go down as a particularly inspiring chapter in what is sure to be a future "how not to" cautionary tale of a parenting book.

I'm writing this while putting Isaac to bed, after having just read a depressing and terrifying official "AltRight manifesto" on Twitter. 

This thing basically read like an academic defense of white eugenics mixed with a neo "separate but equal" sort of ideal; all written by a social pariah with an associate's degree in polysci, who lives off Mountain Dew and Dominos in his mom's basement and moonlights as a skinhead internet troll.

And I thought to myself: Is this the world I want my son to grow up in? Wait...what If this IS my son? 

After all, I had spent all evening peeling Isaac off his sister, trying to make them stop fighting, and watched as he ripped off his shirt like he was an extra in Fight Club. I tried to explain how we need to respect each other's bodies and not hit and solve problems with our words.

It seemed to resonate, because he literally sat in my closet and cried in guilt and shame. "At least he's not a sociopath!" my psychiatrist mom has said cheerfully on similar occasions. "If he were, he wouldn't feel guilt or anxiety!"

Cold comfort.

Later, he asked me if it was "possible to get sperm when you're five." I think he was basically trying to figure out when he would get his boy-period, but having zero experience in this department, I just told him no.

As long as he never becomes someone who thinks it's a good idea to write a "manifesto"--ANY manifesto--I think we'll all be okay.

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