As my kids reach their teens and their time to fly the nest gets closer, I’ve been giving some thought to what I still need to teach them before they tackle the challenges of what’s now called “adulting.”
This came to mind because I’m currently reading LaRose: A Novel by Louise Erdrich and, at one point, the title character (who holds the name in modern times, anyway) is described thusly:
…. LaRose was precise and deliberate. He was becoming an effective human being. He had learned from his birth family how to snare rabbits, make stew, paint fingernails, glue wallpaper, conduct ceremonies, start outside fires in a driving rain, sew with a sewing machine, cut quilt squares, play Halo, gather, dry, and boil various medicine teas. He had learned from the old people how to move between worlds seen and unseen. Peter taught him how to use an ax, a chain saw, safely handle a .22, drive a riding lawn mower, drive a tractor, even a car. Nola taught him how to paint walls, keep animals, how to plant and grow things, how to fry meat, how to bake. Maggie taught him how to hide fear, fake pain, how to punch with a knuckle jutting. How to go for the eyes. How to hook your fingers in a person’s nose from behind and threaten to rip the nose off your face. He hadn’t done these things yet, and neither had Maggie, but she was always looking for a chance.”
Guess how old the kid is at this time in the story? He’s seven.
I’m feeling a bit behind in my parenting.
This reminds me of my “skills for the zombie apocalypse” list from long long ago.