I’ve been noticing more and more elements of myself emerging in my kids as they grow up. I can’t take total credit for their developing sarcasm; that one comes from both ends of the gene pool. The flat feet have been there from the beginning, so that’s not really “emerging” as Webster’s defines it (the dictionary, not the classic 80s sitcom). The pieces I’m seeing that make my heart sing a little are the things I thought I was going to have to spend a lot more time and energy passing on to them. But if my barely-even-scientific assumption turns out to be only half as nonsensical as it sounded when I made it up, there might be something of a genetic element to Becoming Interested in Nerd Things.
This makes my job so much easier.
My oldest cut her chapter-book reading teeth on Eragon and other high-fantasy dragon chronicle literature. She made little dragon sculptures out of clay and talked pretty incessantly about what kind of dragon she would be if she was ever given the chance to make such a thing happen…as if it was even a question. And somehow, in the quieter moments when I wasn’t watching, she graduated to illustrating unicorns and riffing on Adventure Time episodes.
And the other Luna kids followed suit. They’ve seen my clutter of Superman merchandise (which isn’t nearly as extensive as it should be…I get very nerd-lazy sometimes). Aside from the swag, my kids have all learned the difference between Marvel and DC with hardly any prompting from me at all. They know the mythology behind more members of the Avenger crew than I do, and they get geek-bliss happy when I explain the elements they aren’t yet familiar with. They make sure I know release dates for the movies so we can plan theater trips, because they already know BluRay is an also-ran when it comes to comic book cinema consumption.
Excuse me while I let the lump in my throat pass.
And video games! I didn’t retain my gaming ways past college…to be embarrassingly honest, Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong Country were the cliff off of which my interests took a flying leap. But my kids have picked up light years ahead of where I plunged into oblivion. They loved the game-changing of their Wii, and now they’re digging the vast world expansion of the Xbox360. They tell me about things I had no idea existed, but that deep in my heart I hoped someday would. They’re introducing me to iPod gaming apps that I might like now, because they know my tastes, which just so happen to be their tastes as well.
The students have surpassed the master simply by being blood-related to him.
One of the Luna kids wants to be a veterinarian (SCIENCE!) and one wants to be an engineer (SCIENCE AGAIN…I think). One of them wants to be an artist-musician…that’s not the most vivid color in the nerd rainbow. But she wears a Captain America t-shirt while she paints and rocks out. So she’s right there with us.
Fantasy! Comic books! Video games! Science! My children are living the nerd future I’ve always dreamed would be available for them. And I didn’t even have to goad them into embracing it. They came running at it with open arms, dressed in full-tilt character attire and babbling conspiracy theories about Agent Coulson.
I get misty just writing about it.