Last week my business partner at the gym and his lovely wife (Michael and Holly) welcomed child number three to Planet Earth and yesterday, at the ripe old age of one week, little Ryan came to the gym for his first ‘workout’. Naturally, he wanted to connect with Uncle Craig, so he and I spent some quality time doing a few laps of the gym just checking stuff out. As blokes do. Thanks to me, he’s now familiar with the squat rack, the bench press, the chin bar and the boxing ring; all crucial knowledge for the alpha-male of the future.
You’re welcome Ryan.
As I strolled through the metal jungle with my pint-sized, adorable human on board, I considered what a massive responsibility it is to help such a tiny, totally dependant baby transition into a not-so-tiny, independent grown-up. Not being a parent, it’s something I’ve never really considered too seriously but in that moment it dawned on me that over the next few years (and beyond) little Ryan will be ‘educated’ about how the world works and more importantly, how he should ‘work’ in the middle of that world.
Wow. What a responsibility.
Programming a Kid
Beliefs, values, standards, perceptions, fears, rules, expectations, behaviours and habits are all about to be installed into his incredibly powerful hard drive. Like all babies, he’s a super computer who, for better or worse, is about to be programmed by the world around him and the people in it.
What a scary thought.
Right now, baby Ryan is at the “Once upon a time” part of his story. Line one, chapter one, page one. He is a clean slate. A masterpiece yet to be painted. Unblemished. Unspoiled. Innocent.
But not for long.
In a moment, he’ll be five. With his own ideas, beliefs and unique personality. And then ten. With greater understanding, more experience and his own social circle. And before we know it, he’ll be fifteen. Good grief. With more testosterone than you can poke a stick at, who knows what the ‘not-really-a-boy-but-not-really-a-man’ version of Ryan will look like?
It’s a good thing I’ll be around to guide him.