Sunday, April 10, 2005

The Perfect Daughter

I think every parent probably has some kind of ideal, some sort of perfect model of what they want their child to become. It is important though, that one not force a child into a preconcieved role. As much as parents may want their child to become, say an attorney, they should not, whether via coercion or subtle pressure, compel the child to go to law school against the child's interests. Because then the child will assuredly marry a woman you hate, become an alcoholic, fail out of law school, enter a 12 step program, become a pagan, get tattooed and blog bitterly nasty posts about you, the parents. I mean this in an abstract way of course; this is simply a hypothetical example. Nothing personal at all about this.

I don't think it is harmful to idly share about one's dream child though.

I have always said that I did not want children, but in some ways I was being disingenous. It is true that now, less than two months from delivery, I am very excited about my child and my only concern at the moment is health. But before I wanted and my coming child I did want a specific child. A daughter to be precise.

Wednesday Addams.

In all of her incarnations, from the cartoon in the New Yorker (alas, Charles Addams estate has requested that no cartoon of his be put on the internet!), to the television show until finally perfected by Christina Ricci for the movies, Wednesday Addams is the daughter I have always wanted to have.

If you think about it, the Addams family could be a role model for many troubled American families. They deeply love each other and are committed to preserving, nurturing and growing the family. They are accepting of each other's uniqueness, in fact they celebrate the individuality of each member. When troubles and disagreements arise, rather than attacking and blaming, they work together to overcome. Selfish interests are put aside in the interests of the family as a whole.

Wednesday is clearly a gifted child. The very thought of Wednesday as an adolescent should sent shivers down the spine of any boy or girl. The havoc she would unleash would be legendary. You can picture her walking down the halls of a high school, books clasped in front of her chest, her pale face expressionless as all the people in the hall cringe against their lockers in fear.

I guess really, if I were Wednesday's father, there would not be too much for me to worry about. If she were kidnapped, I would pity the kidnapper; possibly I would be able to have them pay to return her to the family. As a teen, if a boy made an unwelcome advance, well, dad would hardly be needed to defend her honor. She would probably be an academic overachiever although chemistry and biology labs with her would be quite dangerous. Actually, that brings me to my only concern about parenting a Wednesday.

Would I survive the experience?

Ah, but when you really consider it, few parents survive the parenting of their children. True, their children may be in their forties or fifties before they pass on, but still they are parents. So, in that sense the question is irrelevant.

I won't try to mold my daughter into a Wednesday. If my daughter chooses to join drill team or girlscouts, I will pray that the Goddess grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. But I can hope, that maybe, just maybe, my daughter will want a bedroom decorated in a skulls, pentacles and spiders theme.

No matter what though, I shall love her.