I think everyone can agree that raising a child is a unique experience for everyone. Each individual kid develops a wildly different personality. But you and your significant other also bring two unique personalities with unique life experiences that you’re going to share with your kids. Are you a nerd, sports-lover, hunter, reader, etc?
My life experiences pretty much sum up to being a huge nerd. I don’t like to throw around labels but I have a monthly Star Wars-themed D&D night, I’ve been reading comics since before the Marvel Cinematic Universe existed, and I’ve consumed nearly every piece of Doctor Who-related media in existence. My son is going to have a nerdy dad. There’s just no way around it.
Like Nerd Father, Like NerdSon?
Not everyone is going to be a huge nerd, so it might seem weird to some that I’m more excited to share the first 11 seasons of The Simpsons with my son than I am to teach him to play baseball.
I’m not saying that one is more important than the other, and for some, teaching your child to throw a fastball is going to be their crowning moment as a father. My crowning achievement will be making it to the 12th Doctor in Doctor Who.
A Passing of the Nerd Culture
To me, being a nerd just means that you care about something a great deal. Everyone’s a nerd for something, Whether it be sports statistics, your favorite author, a TV show, woodworking, etc, you’re probably a nerd.
It just so happens that the things I’m passionate about passing onto my son are mostly nerdy in the traditional sense, related science fiction/fantasy, superheroes, and cult hit movies and television.
In a way, it’s like passing on my personal culture to my son. I’m not religious, I don’t have any major cultural heritage that I take part in. I am but a humble nerd.
My son can grow up to be anything he wants to be: professional quarterback, rockstar, writer, accountant, whatever, but I’m going to try my darndest to steer him toward being a quarterback/rockstar that also likes Star Wars and superhero movies.
The Mind of a Child
They say that having children is the ultimate act of narcissism. You think yourself so great that the world needs another smaller version of you.
Well, I want to argue with that sentiment, but I can’t really deny that I want to make my son as big a nerd as I am. It’s just more that I want someone to share these things with rather than to just duplicate myself.
And kids are the best people to share your passions with. You can’t overhype a kid. They haven’t become jaded with the world yet, so everything is awesome to them. I remember I LOVED The Phantom Menace when I first saw it at nine-years-old. I thought the lightsaber battles were awesome, Jar Jar was hilarious, the Jedi were cool, and my young childish mind sort of just glossed over all the boring scenes in the Senate. It’s only my cynical adult brain that now notices how bad that movie was.
If I told my son The Phantom Menace was the best Star Wars movie ever, he would watch it every single day until I told him that I had played a cruel joke on him and there were far better Star Wars movies to watch.
The Ever-Changing Nerdy Dad List
The list will be updated periodically as I either remember things I want to show him, or I watch/read/listen to something new that I think is essential nerd viewing. Some of these won’t be age-appropriate for a while, but I can (probably) wait for some of those.