Five and doing just fine

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 :)

8 thoughts on “Five and doing just fine

  1. This is a great story, thanks for sharing! Kids say the darndest things. The other day my 22 month old daughter turned to my parents as we were leaving their house and said, “Drive carefully!” You gotta love them.
    Congradulation on 5 years of TopStyle Pro. I think I’ve been with you for about 1.75 of those and I’m glad for it!

  2. Nick Bradbury’s wisdom

    i read an interesting post today that has me thinking about my own coming son… my favorite part:
    “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 cra…

  3. Good to hear… I know it’s hard to make a living especially through what you do.
    I have many friends who administrate sites like DeviantART and other free(ish) sites…
    Glad to hear you are making it well with your family and real life outside of programming.

  4. We have a bible study small group that meets each week. While the younger kids (6-10 yrs) normally play separately, sometimes we’ll sing a few songs all together to start off an evening. We meet at the house of the percussionist from our church’s worship team, so he has *lots* of kinds of drums and several gym bags of various cool noise-makers… the kids *love* to all grab something and ‘play’ along.
    Quite a cacaphony, but I love to see their faces… ;-) … and, no, they usually aren’t singing along…
    Isaac certainly put a great quote to it though. ;-)

  5. So did you get the Gwendolyn CD yet? If not, email me your snailmail adress and I’ll send you one. Your kids will love it. Guaranteed.
    Happy birthday, Isaac, even if your dad is an old meanie who didn’t get you the CD.

  6. Hey Bob, I actually *did* get that CD for them – but oddly enough, they didn’t much care for it. I’ll play it again sometime soon, though, just in case they were having an off day :)

  7. Bob, it looks like I have to eat my words. I played the CD again for the kids, and this time they *loved* it – especially the “I Don’t Think I Like It” song.

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