Level Fifteen Father

It’s Tomas’s birthday today. The big 1-5. And I’ve written plenty of things about him over the years. He’s at the point now where I think I won’t write so much about him, simply because he’s got friends and acquaintances who might read those things, and I tend to try to avoid writing about specific people without their permission. (It’s easier to write in generalities, but it’s hard for me to protect the identity of the person in question when it comes to writing about my children.)

However, one thing that I’ve been thinking about a fair bit today is the fact that the birthday of your oldest child is also the also the anniversary of the day you became a parent. And as I posted a while back, I like to think of anniversary points as “level up” spots instead of “one year older” points in my life. Because who doesn’t want to level up? And that’s pretty much what getting older is. Gaining experience over time.

So that means I’m now a level fifteen parent, which feels about right to me. This is not my first rodeo by any stretch, and

Is there a difference between a level fifteen father and a level fifteen mother? In my family there certainly is. To keep the RPG theme going, it’s mainly because Denisa and I have specialized in different things as we’ve leveled up over the years. She’s devoted a lot of ability points to “home management,” “nurturing,” and (most recently) “car transportation.” I’ve dumped my ability points into “chore coordination,” “consequence enforcement” and “finance management.” I don’t believe those specializations are assigned based on gender, but they’re definitely specializations parents need to worry about, regardless of how they divvy them out. And there have been occasions when we’ve had to swap duties over the years, so I’m probably around a level 2 nurturer and a level 1 car transporter, but specialization definitely helps in the long run.

As a level fifteen parent, there are still areas that I have no experience with at all. Tomas often ends up bearing the brunt of that. When DC and MC reach middle school, for example, they’ll benefit from having parents who already have experience navigating through at least some of the pitfalls that might crop up there. Though as with any campaign, each one ends up differently, and it’s not like we’ll be prepared for all possibilities.

It’s for those new challenges that I turn to more advanced level parents than I. Thankfully, I’ve got friends who are level 25 and higher, and family who are level 45 right on up to over level 60. True, sometimes the higher level parents aren’t quite as able to deal with the same problems of lower level parents, just because it’s been so long since they had to handle level 15 problems, and some of those level 15 problems have changed in the intervening 45 years since they were a level 15.

When I think back on the person I was fifteen years ago and everything that person has gone through since, it’s remarkable. You don’t get a crash course as a parent, which is too bad, since there’s so many different aspects of parenting you end up just fumbling through as best as you can.

Anyway. Not much more profound to offer you today. Just that thought, and the chance to wish Tomas another happy birthday.


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