One of the things I most look forward to in fatherhood is teaching Charlie. There’s so much I love about the world, so much that fascinates me, and the thought of sharing it with him excites me to no end. I do it now, even though he can’t understand me. The other day I was explaining how the earth pulls him to it, but that he pulls the earth to him, too. He was suitably impressed; speechless.
I want to inform and curate his cultural life as well. All parents do this, of course, though most, unconsciously. It has been demonstrated that, broadly, a child’s success is better predicted by who the parents are than by what they do. (It’s discussed by Gladwell in Freakonomics.) Even so, I view this as one of my most important jobs. A duty both solemn and delightful. It’s just so much fun to think about where I want to direct his attention as it, and he grows. The books! The plays, the music!
Ah, the music. Even before he was born, when we played songs for him in utero, it was important that they be good ones. I became the program director of my own little radio show: Unborn Baby Music Hour. Jessica and I spent many moments laying together, holding a speaker up to her belly and wondering how much of “I’m Looking Through You” was getting to Charlie’s developing ears. What a joy.
Of course, there’s every chance he’s not going to like any of the things I introduce him to. We actually have a running joke: every so often, when I’m talking about something I’m sure he’s going to enjoy, I finish with, “BECAUSE HE WILL LIKE EVERYTHING I LIKE!” A little reminder to myself not to be disappointed when he becomes his own man.
He may not devour the Redwall books. He may not own Billy Joel’s entire musical catalog. He may not play D&D. (No, screw it, he’s definitely playing D&D, dammit.)
Unborn Baby Music Hour:
I’m Looking Through You, The Beatles (http://is.gd/dP7Xp)
Hold On, I’m Coming, Sam & Dave (http://is.gd/dP812)
Wildflowers, Tom Petty (http://is.gd/dP83s)
TiK ToK, Ke$ha (http://is.gd/dP8bc)
Flames, Karl X Johan (http://is.gd/dP8m7)
Home, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (http://is.gd/dP8GX)
Pass the Time, I Come to Shanghai (http://is.gd/dP8LL)
An Innocent Man, Billy Joel (http://is.gd/dP8PA)
Stranger than Fiction, Bad Religion (http://is.gd/dP8Sl)
Next to You, The Police (http://is.gd/dP8Vn)
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers (http://is.gd/dP92u)
Robin, Soy Un Caballo (http://is.gd/dP9MP)
Sleeping with the Television On, Billy Joel (http://is.gd/dP9OP)
Bank Robber, The Clash (http://is.gd/dP9TF)
Under the Hedge, Ted Leo/Pharmacists (http://is.gd/dP9VR)
Glorious Dawn, Colorpulse (f/Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking) (http://is.gd/dPa3C)
Intergalactic, Beastie Boys (http://is.gd/dPa68)
Walking on the Moon, The Police (http://is.gd/dPaoA)
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heats Club Band, The Beatles (http://is.gd/dPatd)
Vienna, Billy Joel (http://is.gd/dPavC)
Baba O’Riley, The Who (http://is.gd/dPaxY)
M+M’s, Blink 182 (http://is.gd/dPaIJ)
Think, Aretha Franklin (http://is.gd/dPaLN)
Symphony No. 25 in G minor, W. A. Mozart (http://is.gd/dPaUB)
1972 Bronze Medalist, The Bad Plus (http://is.gd/dPaXO)
Black and White, Django Reinhardt & Stephane Grappelli (http://is.gd/dPb8z)
Ave Maria, Chanticleer (http://is.gd/dPb42)