As a computer geek, I love my kids a bit differently (is it an understatement ?) than others.
I love them very much, but I’m also able to discipline them fairly when needed. My kids are all able to use computer since they’re babies 🙂 All are able to use Linux daily 😀
They love books, as I do. They don’t watch TV (I forbid one in my house), but they browse the internet under our supervision. And so on.
But what make me in awe everyday is because I happen to understand computers : I know how stupid it is. So I’m constantly amazed when my kids are able to accomplish something new. Because it made me remember that, despite the latest advances in the artificial-intelligence field, they are nowhere close to the intelligence level of my baby : self-aware & sentient. And capability to learn pretty much **anything**.
Try to top that 🙂
Anyway, so it was with great feeling I read this comment again and again. It moved me so much.
It was exactly my experience, but written so much more eloquently that I could ever hoped for.
I hope I’ll be successful in my duty : to raise all of my kids to be good adults. To all other geek parent’s out there, here’s one for you :
I won’t lie to you — being a parent is no laughing matter. It is a ton of work. It can be amazingly stressful and expensive. I’ve been through periods that I look back on now and wonder how the hell I managed to pull through without going completely insane.
But if you ask me, the rewards outweigh the difficulties ten to one.
When your child first looks up at your face and you see actual recognition in her eyes… when you see all the blocks fall into place as she figures out how to do something for the first time… look, I know it sounds really sappy and smarmy, but seriously (srsly) it is absolutely indescribable.
This thing started out as a bit of genetic code from two people, and now it is actually self-aware and sentient. How cool is that? What geek can’t be astonished at these emergent properties, derived from a program more complicated than you can possibly imagine — a program that has spontaneously evolved over time?
And you get to see her mental map evolve. You watch branches get added to her decision tree. You observe as she learns how to acquire information, process it, and decide how to act upon it. And all the while, you mold her view of the world based on your interactions with her. I don’t know about you, but I find that not only fascinating, but incredibly rewarding.
Before my daughter was born, I was terrified too, and (if) somebody had said these things to me, I would’ve said, “Yeah, okay, I’m sure it’s great and all, but I’m sure you’re exaggerating somewhat.” That’s because there is something that happens to you when it’s your kid. There’s some very ancient, very basic code that gets turned on in your brain that says “this life is your responsibility, and you must do everything you can to ensure its safety, survival, and growth“. I can’t explain it because I honestly believe it’s something buried deep beneath the conscious mind.