I like to think I’m an OK parent. I mean, I try hard enough - and have the bags under my eyes to prove it. On the whole, both my wife and I are happy with the boys’ progression. We’re positive we are going to give them the tools to handle life with aplomb and face any issue with confidence and guts. Ultimately, we want them to be happy - anything more than that would be a dream come true.
But some things you just don’t have any power to control. Take genetics, for example. One of the boys is the spitting image of me at the same age, and he’s already displaying the same personality. All inherited from yours truly.
And I have to admit - it worries me. Because, in twenty years time, the likelihood is he’ll be staring into a mirror in abject horror, like I did fifteen minutes ago. He’ll also be thinking about writing a blog post on the worries he has for his children, just like this one. Damn you, genetics, you cruel monster.
So, you are probably wondering what I’m worried about. Don’t panic - I’m about to unleash. Here’s some of the terrible future I might be passing on to my boys.
Male Pattern Baldness
OK, so this isn’t strictly my fault. I blame my dad - and his dad before him. And the scientists of the world that have yet to find a cure for this cruellest of mistresses; male pattern baldness.
To be honest, I’m over it now. It's not 'being' bald that is the issue - it’s the slow process of going bald. It’s taken me twenty years of sheer pain - and at least £15,000 in hats - to come to terms with it.
When I look around for cures now, I’m looking on behalf of my kids, not myself. You might buy finasteride tablets, hair transplants, and all kinds of alternatives available these days. But I’m hoping for an easier transition for my boys, should there never be a cure found between now and 2040.
Who out there loves hot, summer holidays and being out in the sun? Yep, me too! The trouble is, I suffer from something called photic sneezing.
Every time I look at the sun or a bright light, I will sneeze at least 2-3 times. It’s a genetic reflex I picked up from my grandad. I was hoping it might skip another generation, but guess what? One of the boys is already doing it.
It’s no biggie, and nothing a tissue won’t resolve. But I can tell you this. When he starts dating the fairer sex, my advice will be to act like a vampire and stay out of sun.
Introversion is another thing that I just ‘am’. My wife has it, too. So the chances are that both the boys will have this to look forward to for many years. Introversion itself is not an issue. I like being able to spend time with myself and lead a quieter lifestyle. It also helps me think about things more, and I’m pretty good at listening to other people and coming up with solutions for their problems.
My problem is with how other people view introversion. If you ain’t loud, you won’t go places in the vast majority of businesses and educational establishments. Take a look at any job description if you don’t believe me. Employers want ‘upbeat’ and ‘outgoing’ personalities - never ‘quiet thinkers’.
There’s a place for all characters in a successful business, of course. But being an introvert and having to act like an extrovert to progress has always been difficult for me. I hope things improve for my boys.
Finally, the piece de resistance - my nose. As a young boy, my nose was fine. Some might say it was even adorable.
But as I hit my teens, things started to change for the worse. It grew faster than any other part of my body and was the focus of a fair amount of attention in every class I attended. As you can probably imagine.
These days? Sure, it’s enormous, but my face has grown into it, and you learn to live with it. ‘Ol’ Big Bird’, as I like to call it. But those teenage years...man, I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy, never mind my kids.
Jokes aside, there’s a serious point to all this. Genetics play such a big part in everyone's lives. And while we all try and be the best parents we can, it’s important not to be too hard on ourselves all the time if things are going south. Because sometimes, there is nothing you can do other than give your kids the tools to deal with their problems.
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