Thursday, February 16, 2012

To My Hypothetical Children

To Emma and Eric (subject to change),

I will forgive errant ways. I’ll likely encourage them if it’s all for the best.

While I have thought of you for quite some time, it has only occurred to me fairly recently that you may actually exist, and whether with the increasing knowledge of this I’ll think less about what I think about now and more about, I don’t know, car seats and baby formulas and what TV shows will make you a genius and other garbage like that. So I’m writing from now, 2012, while I’m a 20 year-old college sophomore becoming increasingly aware of his own ignorance. I fear this is going to get flowery, but it's crazy how much you end up teaching yourself the more reminders you leave behind. Maybe you guys’ll do stuff like this when you’re older, but believe me, I will by no means press you to blog. A few hundred views a week is not enough to live off of.

I’m afraid and aware that when I get older, I’m going to act like I know more than you, which 95% I will, because babies are dumb and I have a college education. I might even wave it above your crib, if provoked enough. However I’m afraid I’ll likely not see when you have a different perspective the other 5%. After all time moves on and I can’t be a cool person and a good father. It’s just something parents do, so I think it’d be dope to talk to you the only time I’m not that. Plus, there’s a lot I struggle with with people right now. There are those who hate me, I hate, and those I feel so much love for I struggle finding an appropriate venue to express it (it’s often here, with words).

This isn’t to say that this is my guide to life, because if this is didactic and inappropriately wishful, then I will be a terrible father, the type of father who is calling you at 9 pm to get home from the roller rink because I’ve watched the news reports and I know the crowd that Jenny hangs around with and I KNOW her joke of a mother isn’t doing anything about the matter. Psh, parents are pretty LAME-O. Cowabunga.

A single tulip. It is difficult to suggest to others to care about things, especially in a time when caring is positively correlated with knowing how much things suck. It requires a certain faith, a believing in one thing with all knowledge pointing towards the opposite. With this said, you’ve got to believe in people. Or else you’re totally boned. It’s only then can you care about anything else. I’m taking a class right now that’s essentially about my cynical generation, about how we’re too afraid to engage with anything so we distance ourselves with reservation and condemnation and satire. When it comes to others, they’re not all that different from you when it comes to needs and desires. They deserve the amount of respect you give yourself, even if you disagree with the manner of which they pursue. They’re gonna smoke pot and fuck around and expect what they don’t deserve and lie and cheat and get wasted and reject critical thought more than you will. You will expect too much of them and they will hurt you, but you need them and you’ve got to be kind, you’ve got to care, and you’ve got to know how different those are from one another. It takes constant pain and work and reminders, but it makes life better. I’ve got to believe that love and respect makes life better. Keeping in mind there will be those who will never like you no matter what you do. I guarantee that you will not have the sperm count to fuck all the haters. If you meet someone new don’t don’t don’t mistake them for being perfect. That’s a setup for disappointment and hatred. People lie more in the middle of goodness than we want to let ourselves believe. "Hatred never ceases by hatred in this world. By love alone it ceases; this is eternal law." It’s not that you kill people with kindness. You murder them in the first degree with no damn witnesses. Do you want to go to jail?

A couple roses. Build schemas through deductive reasoning. What I mean by this is to create models in a complex reality in order to describe relationships between objects. I’m being abstract on purpose. Thinking like that helps you understand the concrete and not enough people do it.

I should stress that while this is preachy and about life, this isn’t my preachy guide to life. These are things I think about and struggle with every damn day. I can’t stress enough how much of a moron I am. I suck at the following things- baking, science, keeping my mind right, running, making art, handwriting, jealousy, crossword puzzles, sports, dancing, maturity, flirting (something that could prove problematic as far as you existing), reading, letting go, self-efficacy, and there are others, but this is getting sad and I’m supposed to be a superhero figure of sorts. The point is I’m working at it. While there are plenty who are, there are those my age who aren’t and you can tell if you’re looking. Most things aren’t that hard to see if you are. I want to be a good person so that I can be there for you, because compassion always ends up being about being there, and it takes a lot of living to learn what that even means, living that I haven’t done yet. While it is likely that you will face what I have a hard time with, know that you are not alone, that I was a person who is not all that different from you, and that I love you intensely despite the fact that you are presently products of my projections. What I know is that life is the guide to being a good person, and it’s entirely up to you if you choose to read it. I have a feeling you will.

I’ve spent half of my life wallowing in love with the idea that we can create something that myself and others will be able to continually learn from, look up to, live from, and I intend to remain stumbling. There’s something clumsy about faith, and I can only hope you’ll have the sight to fully appreciate the hopelessness of it, to flail your arms rhythmically and move your feet without regard for proper and appropriate directionality over what is certain is stagnant, uninterested, despondent, erringly concordant, merely correlative, tentative and seemingly small. I’d much rather the act of getting there to be a surprise than an accident. I will always be in love, but I fail to find reason why that should be a sad thing. I will watch you watch it grow. Bouquets of flowers.

-Brandon Walsh


  1. Your future children are already blessed because of your great wit and the courage to express it. Your fans in NJ...

  2. I was just thinking about my future kids the other day. It's difficult knowing that I will be the adult telling them what is right and wrong when I find the whole idea of morality so objective that really no single thing is correct or not. Another terrible thing is that, with each generation, things that were once taboo won't be. At the moment, I can't imagine what that can be. Hell, we have been raised on technology and the internet. I feel liberal and open-minded enough to accept whatever my kids turn out to be. But this isn't the case and that is terrifying. Accepting their perspective will prove to be the most difficult.