I’m what you would call a geek – it’s something I literally wear on my sleeves, whether I’m wearing my Pacific Rim t-shirt or a suit of Stormtrooper armor. I’m passing this down to the next generation: I’ve regularly dressed my son in clothes emblazoned with robots and dinosaurs. I like the idea of raising a little geek, but it goes far beyond the clothes I dress him in.
Being a geek is all about science, creativity and wonder.
Bram is just over two now, and as he gets grows, I’ve been thinking about just how my own love for science fiction and all things ‘geek’ will help him grow as a person.
Throughout my childhood, I loved science fiction. I have fond, early memories listening to Jane Yolen’s story Merlin and the Dragons; I lost endless hours on my Game Boy with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and after May 1997, I watched countless viewings of the original Star Wars trilogy.
I’ve found that science fiction and fantasy are great tools in my own creative mindset. They’re genres that tap into every facet of life, from science to philosophy, and they’ve been instrumental in pushing me to learn more about everything around me. It’s a genre of creativity, one that broadens horizons simply by existing, pointing to the horizon and whispering, “Look over there.”
Since Bram was born, I’ve picked up an NES that’s as old as I am, found old books that I remember reading as a child, and I’m eagerly waiting for the day to pull out the boxes of my old Legos for him to play with. I do these things because they were a foundational part of my youth: the hours spent playing the same level over and over again taught me patience, while building new and exciting spaceships out of Legos taught me creativity.
These are all things that helped make me the person I am today.
While I wouldn’t mind seeing Bram follow somewhat in my footsteps, that’s not my goal. I’m hoping that he’ll take these random building blocks and make them into something different and exciting.
I want him to pick up my old copies of The Hardy Boys series and learn to love solving crimes, and I want him to read through science fiction books to learn about intangible things like honor, bravery and courage. I want him to watch movies that will charge up his imagination.
I don’t want him to become a copy of me: I want him to take all those collective lessons you pick up from pop culture and apply them to his own life to his own benefit, to build his own creative future. I hope that by instilling a love of the fantastic in him, he will continue to ask “Why?”, and for him to explore for the answers to those questions as he makes his way through life.
Looking over the horizon for the next question and the next set of answers.
Loving science fiction or fantasy (or really anything passionately), is one thing that will get him to continue to ask those questions and to continue to look over the horizon for the next question and the next set of answers. All, I hope, while wearing some sort of Star Wars apparel.