I know I’m posting a lot today, deal with it. I am medicated and have a pretty short to-do list that involves lots of waiting.
I am thinking about all of the things my parents told me that turned out to be true, that I should have listened to, but couldn’t incorporate until I had enough experience not incorporating them that I understood how important they were. It’s one thing to say “I wish I’d listened to my mom’s advice about time management, because it turned out to be exactly the sort of thing that worked once I tried it.” But it’s another to figure out how I could have possibly done that any earlier.
For one, when I was a teenager, I had just learned that parents are fallible. So I overcorrected and started discounting things that came from my parents. I’m not sure how you change that adolescent experience of over-adjusting. For another, my parents were genuinely wrong on a number of things, and I didn’t have enough experience to figure out which things they were most likely to be right on. When I learned to drive, my dad said it would take time before I learned which information to ignore and which to incorporate, and that was why I found the experience so overwhelming. The same is true for listening to people, and you have to do it with every new person as you learn what they are likely to be correct about. Let alone learning how their advice interacts with your needs!
There is no obvious way that this could have happened any faster than it did (barring some medication, but I had a few opportunities to get on it and neither my parents nor I had enough information to make that decision and it’s not clear how we could have done it any faster). I can think of all of the interfering factors and still only shave off a year or two on the time it would have taken me to learn the things without requiring that I grew up as an entirely different person with different parents.
This is all true even though I had a better-than-average adolescent relationship with my parents and the other adults in my life.
One thing I recall is that there were trusted adults who did not become fallible as quickly as my parents in my model of the world, and there were some I learned to trust much more quickly than I trusted my parents on certain topics. My problem, therefore, isn’t really “how do I force my future kids to learn the information I’m right about,” but “how do I condense the time it takes for my children to learn to evaluate information and advice effectively, and how do I support them when they incorporate it, all while accounting for the times I might be wrong?” It looks like a harder problem, but I think it is actually a lot more tractable, because it presents a solution almost immediately: maximize their exposure to sane, reasonable adults who have a variety of areas of expertise, encourage those relationships. And, I guess: do not make it my kids’ problem when I experience jealousy over their trust in another adult.
stared longingly at the small frame of the woman he loved. The
cascading braids of silver hair were now loose and disheveled. She
looked tired, but there was a calm on her face, and a warmth in her
gaze. She was staring too, at the sleeping infant cradled in her
arms. The air filled with the smell of a newborn, and the snoring of
the dire-wolf and the soft growls of dragons. Jon climbed into the
warm fur and put his arms around her. She felt more homely now, in
the harsh winter. Her body was warmer than usual; her hair smelled as
sweet; and he could feel the fieriness in her spirit. His child was
sound asleep in her mother’s arms. Her light brown hair was soft
and curled around her face. Jon had never even dreamed of something
like this, when he was a brother in black, or when he was a bastard.
Now it felt like it was all he ever wanted to have.
held her daughter close to the chest, she would never let her baby
leave her side. Her sweet smell, her soft light brown hair, how it
curled around her face; she could not have enough of her. She had
thought it impossible, but it happened. Her child was not the
stallion that would mount the world, or the next dragon. She was the
child of winter, a ray of hope in the war for the living. She was
hers, and Dany won’t let anyone or anything lay a finger on her.
She had already lost two children, she will protect the ones left.
She couldn’t care less about the Iron Throne or the Seven Kingdoms.
At this instant, she had those she loved, and she knew she wanted
them so bad, more than anything else.
born in the winter, you needn’t shelter her so much.”
cold up here.”
the blood of the dragon, and wolf-blood too, cold wouldn’t hurt
never thought it possible. The witch…”
are holding your daughter, and yet you think the witch who murdered
Drogo spoke the truest words.”
all seems like a dream. What name do we give her? A northern name
perhaps, seeing this is where she comes from.”
was thinking a Valyrian name, more grandiose, like her mother’s.”