Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Year in Review

October to October, time has carried on it's trudging pace, and managed, it seems sometimes to have left me in the dust.

Most of the last year has been spent taking care of those two cubs of mine, Elias and Iain, also known as the Monkey and the Wookiee, respectively. Most every day, except holidays and the occasional day off Pam takes from work, it's about the same routine, only getting rather more complicated as Iain gradually learns to get around and manipulate the world around him.

Elias has always been a handful. It's just him. He's so sure of himself, I wonder how does he do that? He just gets around, and whatever gets in his way, he goes around and carries on. I freely admit to making some mistakes with him, like crashing in front of the television with him in my arms (both boys, actually) with a movie on, or else a little BBC comedy. He now has a short list of heroes, including: Spiderman, Captain Jack Sparrow, Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein, Lightning McQueen, and Batman.

Elias has been officially our son for just about three years and a month. It's hard to imagine sometimes that this bold little boy used to be a little creature that looked like a mad, wet cat in one of his baby pictures. The little button nose, cut obsidian eyes that shine with a life of their own. Now he's talking back, stomping around, and often ignoring what I tell him, but he's also learning a few social niceties, like saying "please" when he tells me he wants some milk.

Iain has been an interesting challenge to us. Whereas Elias rather quickly started sleeping through the night, Iain is still popping up in the middle of the night for a quick bottle, and he is not shy about voicing his discontent. I sort of appreciate that though, as perhaps one of the most magical moments I can think of is sitting and dozing at three a.m., with a now-satisfied baby sleeping in my arms. He also wears his vulnerability on his sleeve, seeming to have abandonment issues... as well as a case of acid reflux that keeps him from getting too complacent about being comfortable. And he's still teething, although he's got at least six, maybe eight teeth in by now.

He's also like Elias in the respect that he is also very keen to explore, and if he can't find a way around an obstacle, he gets very irate. He loves climbing, and he's even experimented with going DOWN stairs, although the two times he's gotten to the stairs without me watching, he's taken a rather large step over 7 steps all at once. I thank God for his resilliance.

But my boys are born into a very troubling-looking period in history. I need not address the economy and the social changes it will bring about, but rest assured in the knowledge that they and I and their Mommy are all going to be learning at about the same time.

Maybe that's what worries me. Confidentially, as long as I can remember, I've nearly always wanted to see a real live economic depression. That essentially meant that now everyone would be playing on the same leveled playing field. Financially, anyway.

It just seems so uncivil right now, even worse than back when we impeached a President for living out a Penthouse Forum scenario in the Oval Office, and yes, talking heads on all sides were being very rude.

Lots of finger-pointing right now. Lots of very angry people. Funny, isn't it, that it seems like all the images we have from the early 20th century are all so quaint and seemingly innocent. Browse a couple of period books by Upton Sinclair, and we find that life in the 1910's to 1920's were far from the sickly-sweet imagery we get from most of the surviving media. Likewise, the Great Depression... they just don't cover a lot of the turmoil going on during the 1930's, and somehow the Depression seems to be looked upon with a degree of nostalgia for some people. Nothing could be further from the truth, obviously.

What scares me now is another period of civil unrest. It was different four years ago when I was a thirty-something, double-income, no kids (except, of course, for a couple of badly trained dogs whom I still love dearly). Back then I was all for a hard re-boot of society; wipe the slate clean and build a new social order more in line with... what I value, of course.

Anarchy is not such a good idea right now. I have too much to lose, and I have no idea how to handle raising kids outside our current social and economic framework, but here we are. It's an extreme worst-case vision, but the way things are going, where people have forgotten about the possible recession, and have moved on to speculating on depression, talk of a total breakdown is not too far behind.

Realpolitik, and Realeconomics... how do we handle that?

And that's how I know I'm finally a grown-up as I close the gap in time until my 40th Birthday... I no longer have the answers. I don't know anymore than I just don't know, anymore.

Isn't this fun?