It's weird being a parent. I've been wanting to be one for quite some time now and yet I feel so strange actually being one. I wanted to have a daughter, too, so I am quite happy. I had her name picked out a long long time ago. Talea was a character in one of my favorite fantasy novels when I was young, a book titled "Spellsinger" written by the excellent Alan Dean Foster. She was a strong character, no frilly prissy girl, but a strong woman who could kick your butt or cut you down with her sword. And she was written like a real person not a caricature so I took a strong liking to her. I found out some years later that the name Talea was a Native American name and meant wolf. I was hooked and knew that one day I would have my very own Talea.
Now that she is here, how do I make sure she grows strong. Not necessarily like the character from the book but close. Physically she is already very strong. The doctors all said how exceptionally strong she was when she was first born. Before she was a month old she was already extending her legs to stand under her own strength. No balance of course but she can stand and continues to push herself for longer periods of time the older she gets. She just passed two months and just loves to stand in my lap, as I balance her, and yell with exertion and triumph the longer she lasts. This kid truly amazes me. Her neck is about as strong as her legs and arms as she can hold her own head straight and has for a while now. It's like she cannot wait to grow up and run and jump and play.
Her mother and I like to come up with future scenarios of her life and what it might be like. I suppose all parents do that when they have a new child. There are some definite things that will happen. She will take some form of martial art. She will be well read. She will learn a musical instrument. One thing that is not definite but I really really hope is that she likes Speculative Fiction as much as I do. I have to be careful about what I introduce her to and when I introduce it to her. Books and movies. They must be age appropriate, though I read and watched many things that many would have considered not age appropriate when I was growing up.
This leads me to Disney films. The classic Disney fantasies are great. Wonderful. I have some issues with them but those are adult issues. I did not have these issues as a child and so feel I will let her enjoy them as I did. I feel I will be able to have her mind and sense of self strong enough to withstand any negative impacts of those films, no matter how subconscious. I used to have this conversation with my best friend David, about not letting my daughter (when I had her) watch the Disney princess films because I didn't want to instill in her the need for a man to save her. I always viewed Snow White and Cinderella as weak and poor examples for young girls. I no longer believe that they will have such an impact. Besides, they're cartoons, and they tell a story and as long as she has me to explain the story and guide her mind in the most positive direction she'll be fine.
Above all things, I wish to accomplish in raising Talea is that she knows how to think and has a strong sense of self. These are the things my parents instilled in me. I was exposed to many things I probably shouldn't have at an early age but I turned out fine. At least I think so. And besides, in this new century there will be new tales for her to love and identify with. I see some of the new things coming out, even from Disney, and I think her future of fantastical tales will benefit her just fine. But I'm still gonna expose her to what her Dad is gaga over and hopefully when she gets older she'll appreciate it. I can't wait but I'm in no hurry.