Saturday, October 25, 2008

Unintended Consequences Part III

One of my favorite parts about being a Dad is the conversations I have with ES about American history and U.S. Government. Back during our Wiliwilinui Ridge hike, ES told me he wants to be President someday. He asked me,

"Daddy, if I'm president, can I outlaw smoking?"

This sent us our conversation off on a tangent about federal versus state government and ways how the federal government can get the states to make laws. For an example, we discussed how the federal government wouldn't share its money for highway improvements unless the states made their drinking age 21. The states all wanted that money for their highways, so they made their drinking age 21. I told ES that he could do something similar. For instance, he could tell the states he has a bunch of money to share for improving schools and libraries, but he wouldn't share the money unless the state wrote a law that banned smoking. He liked that idea.

Anyway, one of the unintended consequences of these discussions with ES came to light recently when we had some friends over for dinner. ES wanted to be a hermit and lock himself in his room. I told him that was rude and he wasn't allowed to lock himself in his room. He felt he was being oppressed, so he drafted up his own Declaration of Independence and presented it to me that night just before dinner.

(Aside: I meant to take a picture of it to post on my blog, but I got distracted through the course of dinner and forgot, and now I don't know where it is.)

Yeah, so, my son is declaring his independence at the great age of 7 years old.

Is this foreshadowing some more egregious form of civil disobedience in the years to come? I just can't WAIT to see what he's like as a teenager!

Oh, and I almost forgot: That night will go down in history as the first time I've heard my wife quote Monty Python. After I told her about ES's declaration of independence, she said:

'elp! 'elp! I'm bein' oppressed!

Funny thing was, she didn't even realize she had done it. It's become ingrained in her psyche. She's been assimilated by the borg nerd!


Sagey said...

I don't think it is considered quoting Monty Python if the person saying it does not know it is a Monty Python line. I believe I was quoting you my dear. You obviously don't realize it, but you say that A LOT!

reddog said...

First born son's have independence issues in Spades. It's important that he work out at an early age a personal strategy that allows him to work within the bounds of authority successfully. I never did.

I've had a pretty fun life but if anybody starts getting to arbitrary or superior on me, I go at them hammer and tongs. I find great satisfaction doing it but honestly, it's a somewhat limiting situation.

I also realized, when I was about twenty five, that all of my male friends and companions were, almost exclusively, first born sons. This is another very limiting condition under which to live.

Hilary said...

That son of yours sounds like a bright bit of business. Which will make him a teen who thinks for himself. That's less worrisome than those who follow the crowd.

JoLee said...

Hang on to your shorts parents.... I think B&G have biiiiiggggg plans for you two!

Jud said...

Perhaps his rebellion will take the form of running for president with a D behind his name...

Which begs the question, would you cross party lines and vote for him? ;)

Sagey said...

Jud, before marrying Blunoz I was a registered Independent. In Massachusetts you can still vote in the primaries, you just go in and say "today I am a BLANK" and then vote in that primary. Unfortunately we have not lived in a state since that has that same policy so I chose to register with the R party because so far I have not found a D that believes a majority of the same things that I do; and I want to vote in the Primaries on other issues besides the President. I will happily "cross the line" if a person stands for what I think our country needs! Hopefully I will bring up ES to stand for those things so therefor I will agree with him regardless of the party. :-) A Rose by any other name is still a Rose...