** Back from my summer hiatus!  I typically take a break after Father’s Day to actually BE a Father rather than writing about being one… Kids are back in school and now I can write again.  Thanks for your continued support and comments.  I really appreciate it! 

Savvy universities annually send their professors cheat sheets to educate and prepare them for their incoming new students. These cheat sheets are chock-full of factoids about the world these new students, most born in the late 90s, can relate to. Seinfeld examples are lost on these bright-eyed kids; kids who have never seen a mixed cassette tape (or CD) or ever rung up late fees at a video rental store, opened an encyclopedia, or blown on a game cartridge.

All this nostalgic pining got me thinking about the world my children are growing up in right now; the beliefs they hold and what is normal for them.

We have open and honest communications that lead to many interesting discussions. From the dinner table last night, “{Me}…it’s cool that the USA has the first black president now and by this time next year, they might have the first female president! Is that amazing?”

All four of my children, including our toddler, stared at me with this incredible look of shame, mild fascination, and pity. It wasn’t amazing. It was normal. Black or white, male or female was a NON-ISSUE to them. Of course a president could be black, and of course she could be woman.

My children are growing up, happily missing most of the stereotypes I grew up with. Men AND women work. Skin colour is nothing to my children. No one is better than another. People are people and everyone deserves equal respect and treatment. This is a simple credo that we preach and live by.

Men being equal to women in everything is normal to my children.  We both work, parent, do dishes, hang laundry, and vacuum. That is their reality and the lifetime movie they watch every day. There are no male/female defined roles.

“{Me}… you are right son, there are women drivers in race cars, not sure why men and women don’t compete against each other in curling and darts…”

However, there are daily chinks in the armour of Pleasantville. News items, YouTube clips, and other viral toxins challenge the ideals my children hold daily.

“{Me}… well, what that man is saying is that the state of Texas doesn’t want to let gay people marry each other…” 

That is so stupid dad, I hate Texas. People can marry whoever they love, whoever their special person is right dad?

Being gay is normal to my children as we have gay people close to us. My children have no idea how far the LGBT movement has come in my lifetime. As far as they know, it’s always been perfect to be who you are and love who you choose to love.

Let’s be brutally honest. My head is not in the clouds or stuck in the ground. I know the ugly world of racism, discrimination, and despicable injustices, are just a few clicks and years away. I do realize that over time, my children will discover the various struggles different groups have endured and will continue to endure, but for right now, in the pure innocent minds of my children, this wonderful world is an equal playing field for all. And we will ride that wave as long as we can.

How do your children see the world? Are they tied to old stereotypes or are they living in this new age?

Until next time….

I’m going to take the morning off and be relive the early 80s – after I crank call my parents, I’ll watch Knight Rider reruns as I wait to tape my favourite song off the radio. I’ll do all of that as soon as I finish reading this shampoo bottle in the bathroom (what else could you read when on the toilet back in the 80s?).