My biggest parenting regret

So, those of you with kids: how’s the parenting working out?

A Huffington Post article a friend (Zeynep) linked on facebook a while ago got me thinking about parenting.

Also someone was asking for tips on

Parenting tips.

As if there were such a thing.

I have no parenting advice to give. I am a terrible parent. My kids are wonderful people despite my best efforts.

You try real hard, to do what is good and avoid doing what is not good, and it turns out by trying so hard to do what is good you end up doing something different that is bad that you didn’t see coming.

The HP article linked above got me thinking about hurrying my kids, though, which I really wish  I had done less of. I wish I had not done it at all.

I was this guy, with two jobs, and when Beta was little I had to get her to day care, get my father-in-law to work, then get to my own job, all on time. So I was always in a hurry and got in the habit of telling Beta to hurry up. We later moved and got different jobs and she could walk to school, but the habit stuck. The habit of being overwhelmed by external circumstances, I guess.

I wish I had just said, fuck you, external circumstances. I wish a lot of things. But I wish I had not hurried my kids, or my wife, or myself.

On the other hand, I have no  evidence that I ever did any damage by hurrying people. Still, though.

Ah, who knows?

We have all the time in the world.

Huginn and Muninn

There is a weathered green bench on the strip of sunblasted grass between the street and the sidewalk. Odin sits there, drapes his suit jacket over the back of the bench, and looks at what’s for lunch.

Times were, whole roast boar, pheasants, flagons of wine and ale.

Not to mention the wenches.

Odin sighs and peels the plastic cover off a serving of Greek salad from the deli. He spears a cherry tomato with a plastic fork.

Times were.

A grey crow hops up.

No, wait, it’s a black crow. A grey crow yawked at him a few minutes ago when he was walking here from the deli. He used to always have to stop and think, which one is Huginn and which one is Muninn? Which is the grey one and which is the black one? Then he decided, I am Odin, I say the first one you see is Huginn and the other one is Muninn, just because. So the grey one from before was Huginn — Odin gave it a handful of peanuts — which makes this black one Muninn. Careful not to spook Muninn, Odin tosses a few peanuts in its direction.

Which Muninn eats.

“How are you with dairy?” asks Odin, and tosses over a piece of feta cheese. Muninn looks at the cheese, thinks about it, then hides it under a pile of dead leaves in the gutter.

Eating peanuts and salad is nice when you’re hungry, thinks Odin, but sharing them with hungry crows is even better.

“Have you lore for me, Muninn?” asks Odin. “What say the slain?”

Muninn is seeing how many peanuts it can carry in its beak, and so says nothing.

Time was, thinks Odin, and polishes off his salad, even the last hard-to-get bits of grated carrot.