As parents, I believe we are continuously confronted with opportunities to question whether we’ve done as much as we could for our kids. For me, this often comes in the question of whether I’ve exposed my kids to enough good reading material. My wife has often joked about the fact that our sons could not tell you anything about Harry Potter but ask them to tell you about Rocky or the Karate Kid and they’ll go on and on. I think my kids are pretty bright, so when I hear that their peers are “so into Harry Potter,” I begin to wonder what makes a 6 or 4 year old that into Harry Potter. In fact, I wonder if they are into Harry Potter or if it is simply more enjoyable for the parents.
When the boys hear the “Gonna Fly Now” theme on one of the homemade kids CD’s, they always ask to hear the Rocky story. J usually has a question about “cuff and link,” the turtles. And when we get to the top of the Philedelphia museum, Ry often wants to hear about the Karate Kid. In my best Mr. Miyagi voice, I say, “wax on-wax off.” And then, I’ll switch to a stern Mr. Miyagi, “no! Daniel son…wax on…wax off.”
The most recent form of scholastic advancement has come in the form of the Green Hornet and Kato. As I write, I’m thinking of the cadence of the story, “If you give a pig a pancake.” If you expose a boy to Kato, then you have to tell him about Bruce Lee. If you tell him about Bruce Lee, he’ll want you to show him Youtube clips of Bruce confronting many bad guys by himself. If you show him Bruce in action, then he’ll want you to tell him about other lesser known heroes of that era, including “super chicken.” If you tell him about “superchicken,” he’ll want you to stop and read to him about a giving a pig a pancake.