The Flight of Reason

Title From Paul Johnson's "Intellectuals"

Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Things More Grim? January 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — dinkerson @ 11:45 pm
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I was homeschooled. Yes, and please understand that this is nothing of which I boast. In fact, I seldom admit to it at all. Until I was nine years old, I lived in a home far removed from any metropolitan influence. I had no cable, of course no internet access, very few friends, no modern reading material… perhaps you get the idea.

What I did have were my books and a television plugged into a VCR. With that VCR, I was allowed to watch movies that were dated pre-1970. While other children my age were going to the movies to see Back to the Future 2, Die Hard, and Indiana Jones, I was home watching Arsenic and Old Lace, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and To Kill a Mockingbird, with the likes of Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Gregory Peck along with their beautiful and always submissive love interests.

My book collection consisted of age-old children’s literature which some may have called archaic; although, I’ll admit to having enjoyed them. Now when I say age-old literature, I’m including everything from Kenneth Graham’s,  The Wind in the Willows, Arnold Lobel’s, Frog and Toad and  Grimm’s Fairy Tales (illustrated by Arthur Rackham, who is my favorite illustrator to this day. I have, in fact, used two of his illustrations in this very post) to Christian family books from the nineteen-thirties through the fifties. In these books, men were chivalrous. They wore suits and combed their hair impeccably. Their wives respected them, and their children revered them. They didn’t neglect their family for the game, piss on the toilette seat, or retire early in the evenings to indulge in online porn. They were never effeminate, nor were they ever “stay at home dads”.

My dad had a good job, and one that required him to wear a suit and tie. He always opened and closed doors for my mom, and ultimately had the final say in most of the big decisions for the household. He was kind and we felt his love, but when he said jump, we jumped till he said stop (figurative).

I remember riding horses with ease by the age of six; being completely familiar with how to operate my Grandfather’s tractors and other equipment at the age of nine; and being proficient enough with any hunting rifle or shotgun at the age of eight to rival many adults.

The first time I ever touched a girl, I was seventeen. She had taken her shirt off. My god, I remember it so well. I suppose it was nothing really. I bumped into her recently; she was my age, but she looked old. I suspected she had “touched” a few other boys.

 

In short, I was raised in another world. I supposed that the odd choice of style by everyone around me, who never wore suits and seldom bathed, were simply a byproduct of where we lived. Perhaps they were inbred. Surely when my Dad left for work every day, he needed to wear his business suits because… well, out there, everybody wore them. Didn’t they? The world had changed dramatically from the only age to which I was ever exposed, and I was certain that the conflicting view that I saw around me was only a local element.  It must just be here; it must just be the people around Spring Hill, Arkansas.

 

When I made it to college, I befriended Sean. He was worldly and experienced in everything from drugs and women, to serious felonies and jail. He decided that I needed a dose of life; a good dunking in the real world. He was good at that. I learned quickly, and although there were certain lines of misbehavior I simply would not cross, those lines were far over the horizon.

I stood recently at the conference center of that school thinking to myself, if only we had known then. If only Joel would have known then that his future wife would leave him, and he would call me periodically with a gun to his head. If only Sean had known that he would be arrested for operating a drug enterprise and prison would be in his near future. I wish I could tell Amanda that she would drop out after her first semester, and ten years later she would be a single mother waiting tables back in her home town of Berryville. I looked at those old seats where we had all once sat, and I thought those things.

 

I now have a son whose name is Alek. Alek is four. How shall I raise him? Might I expose him to the world as it is, or place a facade over all that is bad? A world of make-believe that hasn’t existed for half a century, or the world as it truly is today?

Alek, wanted to stay up on New Years with me to watch the ball drop in New York from our living room in Berryville. I couldn’t see why not.

“Daddy, why is that boy dressed like a girl?” he’d ask. “Daddy, I think that guy’s a monster?” he’d say.

And when Lady Gaga appeared on the screen, “sang” her “song”, and she had finished, “You know Daddy, I think that lady is sad.”

“How do you think son?”

“I saw it on her face”

 

 

I want to close the curtains, and make everything beyond them disappear – All of the scary things – The monsters and such. I want for my little boy to dream, like his daddy once did, that the world is at peace; that monsters aren’t real; and that men are still chivalrous.

 

Do I dare?

 

 Certain names have been changed to protect the identity of certain people mentioned

 

51 Responses to “Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Things More Grim?”

  1. The Emu Says:

    Well that was certainly a journey down a boyhood memory lane
    A world of much experience I think and learnt in the school of hard knocks
    Seems you have survived and happily made it with hard won wisdom
    I applaud you
    Emu aka Ian

    • dinkerson Says:

      Emu, I’m so glad that you stopped by and read my work.This reminds me that I haven’t been around your place in a while. And a good reminder at that.
      Thanks for the kind words and sincerity. I have learned things a little different from most, and have indeed gotten some harder knocks that I’ve ever mentioned on this site. And that does seem to have an effect… I don’t know if I would call it wisdom, but these things have given me some attributes on which I’ve come to rely. These hard knocks have made me both reasonable and reflective. They may not be much, but I believe these character traits to be rare, thus I cherish them.

      Thanks again Emu!

  2. The Hook Says:

    I think Alek is has been blessed to have a father who actually cares about the awesome resonsibility placed on his shoulders. Good for you!

    • dinkerson Says:

      Thanks Hook! Just so you know, Alek is a huge batman fan! I think that may have been the reason why I initially clicked on your gravatar, and so discovered a knew blogging friend.

      Your words mean a lot. Thanks!

      I really do put a lot of thought into raising my kids. I believe that we as parents have a much greater responsibility to our children than just to clothe and feed them. Their needs and their antics change and become more advanced every day. Parenting, for me, has been a constant series of adjustments and fine tunings.

      When it comes to parenting, staying ahead of the curve requires a tremendous amount of planning!

      Thanks again Hook!

  3. rangewriter Says:

    Wow. This was a moving post. You certainly grew up in a unique environment. It seems you adapted well to the “other” world, the world that is filled with demons and crazies. I worry that when children are too sheltered from the realities of life, they fail to develop proper coping mechanisms. But you obviously did. You seem to thrive no matter what the environment around you is. Perhaps its “reason.”

    I suspect that the most important tool you can provide Alek is that keen skill of reason…the ability to look at all sides of an issue and decide what makes sense. Follow logic. Hopefully that will serve Alek as well as it has served you.

    I, too, had a big book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I wonder what happened to it? I loved it. I don’t know who illustrated it, but the illustrations you posted jog my memory.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Thanks Rangewriter! I will agree with you that I did in fact adapt very well. I’m proud of that. It didn’t happen without some residual problems, such as… I guess some anger, and resentment. But who couldn’t complain of some sort of pain left over from childhood?

      Yes Ma’am, I do think that it is reason that has given me what insight I do have. Thanks for saying that! I am indeed a reasoning and a reasonable man, and I only surround myself with the like. Life is so much simpler that way.
      I hadn’t thought of reason as something that I could pass to my son. Good thoughts there, as usual!

      Don’t you hate it when such treasured items somehow manage to walk off after you stop thinking about them? It seems like that always happens.

      Thanks again for reading this post, and for your helpful and sincere comment.

  4. lorrelee1970 Says:

    Fascinating upbringing, but it seems you had a taste of both and it certainly helps you in the raising of your son. Based on the comments you mentioned, he sounds pretty clever.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Alek is clever. Really he’s quite brilliant. If you met him, you’d understand. It’s not that he’s more special than other kids, but he does have a capacity for reflection above most others his age. I’ve said it many times before, he really is a joy to be around and I feel honored to have him for a son.

      Thanks for stopping by again and reading.

  5. aFrankAngle Says:

    First of all, a great reflection of life. Well done!

    As I was reading, I kept thinking about what I say is the most important decision in life: who a person chooses to hang around. It starts during our youth and never goes away. After all, we are influenced by those who can take us down a wide swath of paths. It’s not that none of us haven’t had friends that were on a different path – nor did we not care – but life comes down to decisions … and it sounds like you have made your share of good ones.

  6. dinkerson Says:

    My dad used to say,

    “Life is a series of choices. The quality of that life is the consequence, for good or bad, of the choices we make”.

    Of course, that only now is starting to make sense to me. Early twenties are such ignorant years for most males.

    Thanks, FrankAngle, for your words. And thanks for letting me respectfully disagree with you on your blog recently. Your handling of that says a lot about you!

  7. Yes I agree that life is about choices at the end of the day. Who you want to be associated with as an adult. I also agree with another reader of your post, so many kids are being raised today without coping skills. Example (all papers must be graded in purple ink because red ink is to HARSH, means you were WRONG, too harsh!) Give me a break. Swear that is true, my niece brought that tid bit of information home to me one day. This type of sheltering (in my opinion) makes kids unable to cope when REALLY tough come their way. Coping skills ARE NEEDED. I heard a recent interview with a military recruiter on TV. He advised in the interview the level of youth coming thru are so used to being coddled it is very tough to get them up to standard.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Wow, great response Kellie. You just have to read this post if you have time,

      I had heard about the issue with the color of the ink contained in teacher’s grading pens. Proper can no longer be juxtaposed alongside improper, or else what is improper might begin to look like a negative. And of course anything negative is bad for one’s feelings… and all that rubbish.

      This sort of phony research is what causes me to doubt just about any bit of research to which I’m exposed. The simple fact that something was researched, or carries the label of science behind it, simply isn’t concrete enough evidence for me.

      Here is a quote from an article I once wrote titled, “The Waxman Report”,

      “If you doubt the fallibility of research, then consider this; it was research that concluded that Social Security was a good idea. Phrenology was based on over one hundred years of research and was an accepted branch of neuroscience in the nineteenth century. It was research that put us in Vietnam and research that caused the French to sell the Louisiana Territory. Research claims that Polar ice caps are melting due to global warming, and researchers freeze to death on their mission to investigate. Please, no more bogus research Sen. Waxman, You are insulting my capacity to think rationally.”

      So, I agree with you Kellie. Parents need to get the phonies with their child pseudo-psychology out of the mix, and begin being a proper parent for their children.

      Did I digress? I can’t remember

  8. The Emu Says:

    I think your son is a very fortunate boy
    He has a father who will protect and guide him
    With the foresight to lighten the load of his inevitability
    of facing the travails that he will sooner or later meet
    Cheers mate
    Emu

  9. WordsFallFromMyEyes Says:

    Dinkerson, this was enormously interesting. I have not ever met anyone home schooled – and am guessing it’s your mother who knew enough to teach you. I know I couldn’t – my maths is terrible!

    If you don’t mind me commenting – please don’t take offence; it is merely an opinion & makes no difference to YOUR life, YOUR beliefs & views – but to me, to have a child watch only pre 70s movies is very socially limiting – they would not evolve with the rest of the population & so possibly not fit in/find it difficult to – when they left home (if they did). Also, there is a lot of awe in what goes on in this world as well as a lot of horror – and you can learn from the horror (how NOT to live). To show anyone only one side of the coin, to me, is imbalanced. Flip the coin & see if it’s heads or tails and deal with it, I reckon.

    PLEASE forgive me, but I did giggle when you said that girl you touched at 17 – that she looked a lot older and you suspected from that, she must have “touched” quite a few other guys. This was funny in that you thought fucking made her look old. OMG, I think I must be granny face already!! We are terrible sluts, we women who enjoy sex (as much as men enjoy sex)!

    But more soberly, I do understand what you’re saying. It was a wee bit sanctimonious that you wished you could tell this person how their life would be, and Amanda how she’d be a parent, unsupported, waiting on tables – Do you actually know how she came to be unsupported? Did the man deceive her with his “love”; etc etc, so many scenarios. However a person’s life turned out, I would not ever say to them ‘Well, if you lived a pure life like me, you would be in a good position like me’. People – at least I – live guided by instinct, heart, soul – & sometimes people are emotionally ruined by childhoods & so rendered incapable of making balanced self-affirming, empowering, honest, true-to-yourself choices.

    Oops! That was quite a spill from your piece – sorry!

    In short Dinkerson, I found this genuinely interesting, to know how you grew up – it sounds very wholesome in many ways, and deprived in other ways; but seldom is life “perfect”. Here’s to the new generation; to life; to love. :)

    • Noeleen,

      I find your comments interesting and would like to respectfully respond if I may. Given that I am best friends with the Dinkerson, I feel qualified to speak as to the intent of his post. The question of the proper way to raise a child is an interesting one and is one in which we would be hard pressed to explore all the depths of that conversation. However, it seems that the main question raised in the post is this – what is the appropriate balance of exposure vs protection that trains and teaches our children those values, characteristics, and develops their personality to give them the greatest chance of “success” as they mature into adulthood. And it would seem from your response that you tend to lean toward the exposure side of things.

      I suggest a different thought. Exposure may not necessarily offer the best option for allowing children to deal with the difficulties of life. For example: I don’t believe that the best way for a child to have a healthy respect of alcohol is to have them live with an alcoholic. While the exposure may show them that too much alcohol is indeed a bad thing, it may also teach them that all alcohol is bad. It could have the adverse effect of turning them into prejudging bigots who believe that anyone who touches alcohol is wrong, bad, evil, etc…. I would argue (as I am sure would Dinkerson) that raising someone in a tee-totaling house could also have the same effect. Neither would be the best practice to give a child a healthy respect of alcohol. Another example in which the principle of “protection” is used is practiced by those hired by our government and banks to recognize counterfeit money. One would think (or at least I initially did), that these individuals would be trained by studying various types of counterfeit bills in order to recognize them. However, the opposite is in fact true. They spend their training constantly and consistently looking at and studying real money. By “protecting” them from counterfeit money and only having them look at real money, these individuals are better equipped to see the “bad” money. In other words, one needn’t necessarily experience or be exposed to something in order to be best capable in dealing with said issue.

      As for the post being sanctimonious – I find it difficult to understand how one man desiring to be able to help his friends be better equipped to deal with the challenges life brings being sanctimonious. I call it wisdom and attempting to fulfill the calling of being a friend. If it is in fact sanctimonious, then I should wish all my friends to be sanctimonious for there are many lessons they have learned and passed on that has saved me many a bad decision.

      One final note and then I’ll close. The statement of the girl looking older was no reflection (in my reading of the text) of girls that like sex. Perhaps that you read that interpretation into that says more about you than it does Dinkerson. I read the statement as simply saying that the good and bad decisions that we make in our life are reflected in our physical being. Too much beer = beer belly. Smoking 4 packs a day = scarred and hacking lungs. For a great exploration of this theme I highly recommend to you the novel A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Again, I appreciated your response and willingness to provide intelligent and thoughtful responses to what is indeed a challenging and deep question. Sorry if this is too lengthy, and of course there is much more to say on the subject if a further discussion is wanted. With much encouragement from Dinkerson I have just opened my own blog page with posts to come in the near future.

      • WordsFallFromMyEyes Says:

        NotesOf, it is lovely of you to jump to Nathan’s defence! No problem the length of your response – I appreciate your time.

        Your examples were all extremes whereas I meant to express balance; Nathan’s raising lacked worldly balance which may make meeting ‘the real world’ difficult for him when he left home/if he did.

        “I bumped into her recently; she was my age, but she looked old. I suspected she had ‘touched’ a few other boys”. Pardon, that really can be read only one way: he suspected she looked old because she had “touched” (fucked) “a few other” (a pretty damn lot of) boys.

        Nathan’s thoughts CAME ACROSS (doesn’t mean they ARE; but A reader’s REACTION to words laid out) – as sanctimonious because he was not, as you say “one man desiring to be able to help his friends be better equipped to deal with the challenges life brings “. His observation of old school colleagues was inconclusive: “…thinking to myself, if only we had known then…Joel…his future wife would leave him…call me periodically with a gun to his head…Sean…arrested for operating a drug enterprise… prison…I wish I could tell Amanda she would drop out after her first semester…be a single mother waiting tables ((why would he wish to tell her?)). I looked at those old seats where we had all once sat, and I thought those things.” No mention of wishing to help his fellow man: mere observation of the “failings”/rich life experiences of others – without conclusion. YET! that may simply be because what Nathan wanted to impart was in his head but didn’t quite come out: understood! easily!

        I love The Picture of Dorian Gray – excellent, excellent book. I mention it in my post, http://wordsfallfrommyeyes.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/please-careful-with-the-mirror-the-picture-of-dorian-gray/.

        As I say, Nathan, I tried not to offend with my honesty of reaction. I suspect you may be sensitive & wish not to down you at all – this is a waste of time by the pen. Each to their own, vive le difference, & more than ANYthing, with all our differences, may the human race progress spiritually. Dang, wrote too much again!

        PEACE! :)

      • lolabees Says:

        Wait a minute… is this really dinkerson’s “best friend?” Haha, j/k! Another great post ;)

      • dinkerson Says:

        Lol. Lolabees, way to keep it light hearted! And yes! He has been my closest friend since I was very young. In fact, he was considerate enough to first email his comment to me, thus allowing me to critique what was said before it was posted.

        Charles, thanks for clarifying. Your comment was thoughtful and greatly appreciated. I believe that you did clearly understand my intention, despite some apparent ambiguity.

        Noeleen, your honesty is disarming as well as refreshing. No offense was taken. I suppose, when we put our thoughts out here like we do, we take our reader’s reactions as they come. Failure to do so could potentially result in a failed opportunity to learn from the perspectives of our peers. Thank you, Noeleen.

  10. Noeleen, Indeed, no offense taken. I appreciate your timely and (again) thoughtful response. The exchange of ideas and perspectives is always welcome and exciting. I also hope I didn’t offend.

  11. Jezzmindah Says:

    That is really powerful stuff. Thanks so much for this post.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Wonderful! I’m so glad that you read, and seemed to enjoy, my odd, little memoir.

      I was perusing your site just recently, and truly enjoyed your work as well.

  12. Anne Schilde Says:

    I sounds like you’re really asking a question. I hope my answer is going to make sense.

    None of us can see the world as it is. We can only see the world as we see it. Alek’s life will be what he sees, not what you show him. Instead of worrying about what he should see, help him truly see the things he does. It sounds like he already has a good eye.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Anne, thanks for your reply. I was asking a question, thus this sort of feedback is appreciated.

      One of the major themes in this story is the fact that parents are able to have a tremendous say over what their children see, as well as how they see it.
      My worldview was impacted by my parents and their monitoring and regulation of my exposure to worldly influences. I am actually grateful for what they did (as well as the motives behind their behavior), but am unconvinced that what they did was best. Or perhaps I should say, would be best for my children also.
      Surely you would agree that some sort of sheltering would yield better results than what we often see of kids these days? Kids who are left to themselves to dabble in whatever they choose, in effort to “expose them to the inevitable world”?

      I really like what notesofanantique had to say about this in his comment above.

  13. Homeschooled? I love your mother already. I have three kids and sometimes I falter and give consideration to their requests to be homeschooled (which they desire because they know I am totally disorganized and think it would be fun). But then I enter reality again and imagine them unemployed and on welfare which, of course, would be my homeschool doing. Then I promtply send their butts off to school!

    Nice post!

    • dinkerson Says:

      Lol! My mom was and still is quite a capable lady. I have two kids, and sometimes I wonder how I’m going to get two bowls of cereal made. I will likely not be homeschooling them, and my reasons are a little more selfish than yours.

  14. Melanie T Says:

    Hey there I’m back to the blogging world. Unfortunately, youve taken a reprieve but I have quite a slew of posts to catch up on so we’re even :)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I laughed when you revealed you were from Arkansas (my boyfriend is from fayatteville.)
    I think you should raise your boy to be chivalrous. There are people who grew up as you did-manners and innocence. Your boy is on the way to being a great man-looking past the craziness of lady gaga and seeing the core of her problem-the sadness she feels inside; the brief feeling of satisfaction and security when her fans are screaming her name until she walks off the stage.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Hey Mel! Welcome back. You know, when you take a break, you really do it right :-)

      I live just right down the road from Fayetteville. It’s really a nice little town… Hippies, like everywhere, but still nice.

      Thanks for your input here. I’m prone to agree with you.

  15. Just to clarify something you said in a later post… THIS post lost you followers?

    Please, I beg you, explain what their disagreement was with this post?
    I am truly stuck trying to figure out what is wrong with this post exactly….

    • dinkerson Says:

      Yes… I guess this is the offending post.

      Um… Let’s see, that’s a good question. I think that when you’re writing on the subject of child rearing, if you even hint that a conservative upbringing could in certain circumstances bring about positive results, people will lose their minds. I remember experiencing something similar when I was young and my Dad suggested such a thing on a news program. His story was twisted into something entirely unlike anything that it originally was, and he eventually made global headlines and later even went on Good Morning America!!! That was back in 1996, I think. Some people clearly haven’t changed.

      This is just a tremendously sensitive subject. In my defense, contrary to many claims, I didn’t really suggest anything in this post. I think I just told a story and asked a question… and that was it.

      • Hmmm, I think people need to accept the fact that each person has an opinion and values and has the right to share them with whomever they choose. You have done nothing more than that. IF they disagree, that is their right, as well and they can take their values and use them as they see fit. But, there is no reason for them to disrespect you and your values because they disagree…

        People like that upset me. I wish more people could just be satisfied saying “I disagree with you, here is why. Thank you and enjoy your life differently than me.” And be done with it.

        It’s just so aggravating sometimes.

      • dinkerson Says:

        Thanks for your support Kat.

      • dinkerson Says:

        Okay, I stepped out on a limb there with the nickname. But the name Katrina and the picture of the cat… well, it just made sense. No?

      • No harm done by the nickname. I’ve actually been waiting for someone to come up with something. I have only ever heard “Kate” once. Kat is a new one, however! But, that may be because of the last name. If you have the entire name, Kat might seem out of place because a last name like Blackwolf conjures pictures of animals fighting and one winning…. hahaha, yea.

        Interesting, though. If you like it, you may use it! :)

        I believe we will be fast friends, Nate.

        Since we are on names, can I just say that I always have been interested in people with your name because I heard it once “Nathaniel” (so far past Nathan as to be a different name entirely). So, that is my fascination with your name.

        P.S. I find it intriguing that this post was done on my birthday.

      • dinkerson Says:

        Your birthday? Well I couldn’t have planned it any better :-)

        Friendship and community is why I’m here, thus your comment couldn’t be more pleasing! I can’t believe that Kat is a knew one. Huh…

        Many people assume that Nathan is a shortened form of Nathaniel. When I used to play sports, the name Nathaniel would always show up on my paperwork because of the assumption that all Nathans are Nathanials with a nickname. The same happened when I arrived at college.
        Both Nathan and Nathaniel are ancient, and there is no clear evidence that one stemmed from the other; although this seems likely.

        Thanks again Kat!

  16. sonsothunder Says:

    Crisp, poignant, perfectly flowing style of writing. A touching, even moving story of a boy’s upbringing that obviously instilled morals,and standards, influencing how he wants to raise his own son…What could 20 people possibly find offensive in this article? Oh well, I probably shouldn’t post the thought that just answered my own question. ☺ Great post..

    • dinkerson Says:

      Thank you, Sir. Your comment would work well framed as an encouraging reminder on my desk. I’m glad you liked the post, and I see that you clearly followed my intention.
      It’s always thrilling to be visited by an incredible talent such as you. Thank you very much for dropping by, reading, and leaving such kind remarks.

  17. Jeannie Says:

    My first thought in reading your post was how in the world would you be able to cope with the real world after such a sheltered life? It can be rude awakening on a good day ;) But, not only have you coped, you have thrived it seems. Teach your child the best of what you know and tell him how you’ve learned from your mistakes. He will learn much from his own experiences too. His world view is his own and everyone he meets will help expand that view. What he does with it, is up to him. It sounds like you are a wonderful caring father and very much on your own right path. Young Alek will do well with your love and guidance, no doubt.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Yes, you’re right. I have thrived. This is the source of my conundrum. I thrived, yes, even having been sheltered; many others have thrived having not been sheltered…

      Choices choices

      Of course, most of what I’ve learned about the real world was learned in a crash course. “Crash” is even such a prime word to describe it.

      And yet, what you say is true. Ultimately he will do as he pleases with what I’ve taught him. God and many others know I’ve my fair share of mistakes. Lord help Alek if he repeats them; however, I plan to keep most of those a secret unless he is about to step in what I know to be a bear trap.

      Well, perhaps too much thinking out loud (so to speak) here.
      Good thoughts from you. And I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed your remarks. Thanks for stopping by. And thanks also for your thought provoking comments.

      You’re certainly welcome back any time! :-)

  18. Great Post I enjoyed reading it……..:)

  19. Jessica Says:

    Wow. I guess I’d forgotten I’d seen your writing page. You always comment from your photography site, so…

    This was awesome. Well-written, interesting, offering true insight into what has made you, you. In some ways I think we were raised similarly. I was very sheltered as a child. Never drank a drop until *after* college. Christian. My parents were both hard workers…

    I’ve sometimes wondered how I will raise my own kids someday. Today, I am glad to be out of the bubble I was raised in. Too many people I knew growing up don’t know how to relate to people outside of their comfort zone. But there are good things about a bubble, too. Anymore the world is full of terrible things. I am really glad I have the foundation that I do; it has helped me face this crazy world with a clear head.

    Your sons comments about Lady Gaga tell me you’re doing a great job finding a balance for him, too.

    Thanks so much for reminding me about your site! Following! :)

  20. Being a child and being a parent! Both activities fraught with lack of personal knowledge, but full of advice from well meaning others. I salute you for trying to write through the quagmire. My Mum used to say she brought me up her way, and I went mine :). I feel that way about my boy who is now 25 and a parent himself. I can only hope that so long as you love your child to the max, everything will turn out OK. But the jury’s still out……

    • dinkerson Says:

      Thanks Frag. I’m a clueless parent. There’s no manual, but I do my best. We are all in that boat, but it sounds like you understand that very well.

  21. Kris Says:

    Interesting post…I read it with a hope of knowing you better as I have seen you pop up frequently where I visit. My ears perked up when you mentioned you were home schooled because we home school our children. Forgive me if the bulk of my comment isn’t about the topic of your post, but they are the thoughts your post generated in me.

    On parenting: I wish that I had every confidence that our children will grow up believing that we have not failed them in some way. I wish that they would think that it was all perfect, that there were no defects to be found, that they would do it exactly the same. I wish this because I want every joy for them.

    Yet, the reality is, every being longs for what they didn’t get, every soul gets mad for being curbed and every life sees the failings of those around them. Someday they may choose to focus on that, criticize it and hang their childhood for our missteps. When they grow up, they may determine to do things better and try with all their might. If history proves true, my grandchildren will someday sing that same exact song of discontent with a less than perfect childhood. It is a history that few escape. Our children may grow up, despite our best intentions to hate all we have tried to do. I can only hope that the way we succeed will be more important to them than how we fail. It is a difficult task, parenting with intention.

    I will never regret trying, sacrificing and hoping the best for them. I doubt you will either. Much more to say, this whole post has prompted many thoughts. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been here and am listening to what you are trying to say.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Hi Kris.

      It seems like we’ve spoken before, somewhere along the way.
      Regardless, this is a fine comment that you’ve left here; one that I couldn’t take lightly. :)

      First off, it’s unlikely that your children will grow up believing that you’ve failed them. It may cross their minds as they pass through their late teens or early twenties, but it will likely be a fleeting thought.
      I suspect that if this thought does enter their mind, it will probably be because they understand that homeschooling is not ideal. It doesn’t offer them the opportunity that the public school system offers. That being said, if you teach your children to think, and teach them to be reflective and rational thinkers at that, then they will also understand that the public school system is flawed as well.
      There’s much to be gained from an education at home, where parents are actively involved in in encouraging the very best from their students, along with helping them to think through such topics as follows:

      The political motivation behind the American Revolution
      The shaky evidence that supports darwinism
      The economic principles of slavery, and why our forefathers supported that system (however flawed)
      The clash of modern art and moral rational

      The public school system teaches children what to think; whereas homeschooling has the greater potential to teach children how to think.
      Find an intelligent child in a public school, and you’ll certainly discover that he is well read beyond his teacher’s ramblings and the subjective material of his curricula.
      As your children grow older, Allow them to be introduced to, but not dwell on, the works of Picasso, have them read William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” and Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis”. Then follow that up with some Mark Twain, and, perhaps, C. S. Lewis’ “Till We Have Faces”.
      Show them the difference between the thought conditioning of Golding’s works vs. the literary brilliance behind the works of Twain and Lewis.
      Explain to them the odd appeal of Picasso’s view of women to a liberal world of feministic political correctitude; the anthropologist’s hatred for the community of family; the modern day scientist’s denouncement of the early scientists who gave us the fundamentals on which we base all modern scientific discovery.
      Teach them about the fallen platforms of atheism and darwinism.

      Teach them to think, and teach them how to think, and they will not despise your efforts.

  22. Kris Says:

    You have pretty much nailed the fundamental reason we school at home…to encourage our children to think carefully about the world around them and themselves. I believe this can be done with public schooled kids too, and it should be. For our family this goal is more important than going to prom or feeling solidarity with a football team. Of course, I’m oversimplifying things here as there are other reasons we have made the choice we have.

    I too feel like perhaps we have spoken before but am unclear as to where. Forgive me if I have forgotten something. Looking forward to bumping into you more.

  23. I didn’t know that you wrote a second blog. Now, Dink, I may follow here until I find you saying that the earth is ten thousand years old … at which point, I will tiptoe quietly away. ;-) I came to suggest that you apply to join the Facebook group, PhotoLab art&soul. You don’t have to post. There are some good photographers who belong to the group. I posted one photo there tonight to find out if anybody likes it. This is a very interesting blog and well designed! A man of many talents, I see.

    • dinkerson Says:

      Fair enough, George.

      You know what?!!?? I’m not on Facebook!! Lol :P
      It’s always so good to see you. And I’m so glad that you’ve found my all but abandoned little blog. :)


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