Sunday, May 13, 2007

Thoughts about Parenthood

Sunday, the day of rest for so many people in the Western World... For us, the start of the new week, with the kids back in kindergarten.

We went out last night, IsraeliDad and myself. Nothing fancy, just coffee and a salad at a coffee shop, but a well needed talk too. We discussed the way our children are raised and finished with some very concrete resolutions. We actually have these talks every now and again, with us deciding to run a tighter ship around here. This time, the UN resolutions for our household include censorship of movies, taking violent Spiderman/Superman catroons off the DVD menu. They also include a general tighter limit on the number of TV hours the kids will be allowed. Now, the problem is that we would need to actually entertain the kids during the no-DVD hours. A daunting prospect, to be honest. A large part of our conversation dealt with ways in which we can keep them happy and pleasantly occupied without the DVD.

We later went over to my mom's to pick up the kids (she was minding them while we were out), and we talked to her about the subject. Funny, we feel, and my mom agrees, that when we were kids, there was less of an issue of "what to do with the kids". We were just there,growing up, doing our thing. When school/kindergarten was over, we would come back home and hang out with friends, or by ourselves. Television broadcasts were very limited in Israel of the 1970's. We had maybe 2-3 hours of boring black-and-white programs a day. We didn't even watch all of it, as most of it was rather boring and "educational". What we did watch can definitely be titled as "mostly harmless" (to borrow from the late Douglas Adams there). What did we do then? Well, as far as I can remember, I spent a lot of time just hanging outside in our backyard watching the snails lol. When I was a little bit older, I used to go to friends or they would come over. My parents never had to "drive" us anywhere. We didn't even own a car (my dad would get "half" a truck from the IDF, so we had a car half of the days).

IsraeliDad maintains that our life was simply boring back then. He says we shouldn't subject our kids to those levels of boredom lol. Me? I just want them out of harm's way and growing up safely and as happy as possible. I am not at all sure that the constant stream of stimuli thrown at them by life is that good. Then again, can we have children today grow up the same way we grew up in the '70's? With today's world around them, the TV, the computer, the overall noise level of gadgets, cars, shows, theme parks... can the innocence of those days possibly be regained?

We'll have to find the right balance I guess. Parenthood is such a huge responsiblity... sigh.

Makes me more politically aware too. I keep thinking how much energy we have to invest into rearing our offspring. Then they grow up, join the army, and their precious lives, into which you've poured so much, are at the hands of people like Peretz and Olmert. IsraeliDad has been reading the Vinograd Report in detail (that's the recently published report of the Vinograd Committee which analyzes the way Israel's leadership handled the war in Lebanon over the summer). Listening to him telling me about the lack of professionalism and sheer irresponsibility really makes me sad, frustrated and worried about my own babies who will be joining the army in under 15 years :(

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