When I was going into 8th or 9th grade I discovered through an old textbook the X's and O's of the birds and bees. Frankly I found it to be interesting and yet somewhat disturbing.
For Christmas as a kid I always wanted GI Joes, He-Man, sports cards and any number of other non-electronic and imagination-required items. And, when I didn't get what I desired, I politely swallowed my disappointment and thanked those that gave me gifts.
My best buddies and I loved to build forts, have Super-Soaker fights and sleepovers that always included a heavy dose of Weird Al, Scattagories and Nerf gun battles.
I played basketball, baseball, football, went hunting, hiking, fishing, etc. All with my father.
I didn't call people on their home phones after nine o'clock because it was rude.
I have been watching the cancelled TV show, Freaks and Geeks, on Netflix and, frankly, it's a really great show. There are three kids on this show that would satisify the "geek" portion of the title, and I love watching them. I know that if you look at the grizzled bear man that I am today you may not realize that I was one of those geek kids.
I had big dorky glasses, my mom picked out all my clothes and I didn't mind at all because all I wanted to do was get my homework done and play with my friends. I was a ninth-grade kid that literally would use the phrase, "Mom, can my friends come over and play?"
America has made huge and important strides since the founding of our nation in gender, race and all forms of equality and, for those reasons, I am very proud of our country. I have, however, real and deep-seated fears about the direction that our country is moving in. We value progressive thinking and acceptance of all things so extremely that I can't help but fear it's at the cost of good behavior.
There is so much knowledge and corruption at the fingertips of our children. Growing up, the sexiest thing a hormone-enraged boy had to look at in our home was the JC Penney catalog. Now, kids can access the most base and filthy and vile things that you can imagine at the touch of a button. Freedom of speech and expression are things that I value so very much and am so thankful that I have in this country. But even the most pure things can be tainted. We have a demand as Americans to pursue the good, to ensure our people are free, to allow the denizens of our land to live their lives in a manner that they choose. Having said that I believe that we, as Americans, have an equal demand placed upon us to shelter and nuture our children.
Look back at our society. Look back at our families. Look at our marriages. Look at how hard we used to work. We have come a very long way, and along the way I believe our path diverged and became corrupt. I want my child to have the childhood that I had. I want our children to grow up in a nation that fosters freedom, but also reminds them that freedom is not a blessing to be poorly behaved.
The burden of change needs to be us. I want a return to traditional values, and by that I mean when we valued a child's innocence, imagination and childhood. There is nothing wrong with being a geek, and I pray to God that I can raise my children to be geeks.