Last week my son Isaac turned five – which means that TopStyle is also five years old. You see, both of them were born the same day. And that day was certainly among the most stressful I’ve ever had.
I spent several months working hard on TopStyle 1.0, and was very nervous about its release since I had the ghost of HomeSite hovering over me. I remember putting in countless 18-hour work days making sure that the release would go smoothly, and a few hours after posting the final release I hit the bed, exhausted.
A couple of hours later my wife woke me up to tell me her water had just broke – five weeks earlier than expected.
Being the sensitive guy I am, I tried to convince her that she was simply having bladder control problems. Let’s just say that this line of reasoning didn’t meet with much acceptance. So, off to the hospital we went, me driving like a bat out of hell, with my wife acting surprisingly relaxed about the whole thing.
Many hours and many small emergencies later, Isaac decided to finally greet the world.
When I look back on the five years since that day, it’s clear that one of my biggest concerns with raising Isaac has been how to gradually expose him to popular culture without allowing it to turn him into a mindless consumer. As much as I enjoy a lot of our pop culture, I’m also really bothered by how it tries to feed kids an over-abundance of idiotic, soul-less crap.
In the hopes that he’d learn to actually appreciate music rather than believe it’s something that only surgically altered pop stars can produce, my wife and I started taking him to a weekly music class with a group of other toddlers. During one of these classes, the instructor asked every child to pick out a drum and sing a song while beating it. Isaac dutifully grabbed a bongo drum and bashed it senseless, but rather than sing along, he kept his mouth shut tight. After a little while the instructor asked him why he wasn’t singing, and my then three-year-old son replied very matter-of-factly, “because it’s an instrumental,” then went right back to banging away.
That’s when I knew the kid was going to be just fine :)