Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We're getting old

Recently Megan and I have been using Netflix to make our way through old television shows that either we missed or couldn't watch because they were on channels we didn't subscribe to. We've loved Rome, The Wire, and Arrested Development that way, and I had heard good things about Freaks and Geeks. We watched it last week. It's a great blast from the past with stylin' clothes, bitchin' cars, and a treasure trove of nerdiness. A "geek" was showing off his Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual and I had to admit that I not only had that as a kid, but I could probably dig it up now if I wanted to. One would think that while watching a show about a high school set in 1980 we would identify with the kids. But Megan and I came to the disturbing conclusion early on that we identified more with the parents in the show than with the kids. Part of the reason is the parents were well developed in the show and not just caricatures of clueless or repressive adults. They were a little bit clueless and were a touch repressive, but they were also extremely concerned about their children. Their love showed through wanting to keep their children young and safe.

It seems that once you have a child, once you take on the enormous responsibility of his or her safety and development, your entire perspective changes. I don't even remember paying attention to the parents in movies and shows when I was younger. Suddenly, their concerns and fears are mine. On Friday nights, when the kids want to go out and do something - anything to get out of the house, whether it's driving aimlessly or watching Dukes of Hazzard with friends - the parents suggest a nice board game. It got me thinking that in the not too distant future, Megan and I will be most uncool people in our daughters' lives and as much as we want them to stay home and play board games with us, they will beg us to let them go.


Dmitri said...

I started reading Tolkien to my daughter, and then teaching her poker. She's popular and pretty, so she needs some geek love to tone that down lest she become a queen bee bitch in high school. I also figure the best bet is to sow the seeds of geekery and community so that we'll share some interests later on. That way she'll maybe geek out with me in private once in a while, if not on a Friday night.

Gregg said...

Um, yeah. I actually have the old D&D manuals on my shelf here. About 12-14 years ago, my wife and I, plus some of our friends decided to relive those glory days of D&D and went to get a ready-made dungeon.

It turns out the rules have all changed, and aren't really compatible with what we had. So we bagged it. Sad, kind of.

BTW, my daughter is 13 and out all the time. She won't play board games! Prepare yourself.