Wednesday, March 16, 2011


This is a picture of the top of the little cabinet outside my daughters' bedroom. Since they were born, I've been reading to them every night before bed. Hell, I read to them even when they were still in their mamma's tummy.

I have fond memories of leaving the God of War 1 team around 6 on most nights to rush home and read my oldest (now 7) The Foot Book By Dr. Seuss. Then I would head back in to Sony to work on the game.

Putting my kids to bed with books: it's just been instinct. It never occurred to me not to read to them before bed.

Ok, so back to this cabinet: I toss the books we're currently reading up on top so they're easy to get to the next night.

So just now, I was heading in to my office-across the hall from their bedroom- to start my day and I was stopped cold when I saw the books that were up there. When I looked at them, a few things occurred to me:

* Man, they grow fast and you can see that growth in the books they now like. My youngest (5) is learning to read for herself (and doing an amazing job of it, I might add!) and thus the Level 1 My Little Pony reading book. My oldest continues to say she wants to be an Animal Rescuer when she grows up (she's been saying this since she was 3) and hence the Jane Goodall bio above (side note: it's so cool to use books to introduce my girls to amazing people- and especially women- who have done amazing things in life!)

But these titles are such a far cry from The Foot Book and The Very Hungry Caterpillar cardboard books I used to read to them (and that they used to chew on as they were teething). It's a little sad to watch them grow out of those kinds of things (I love being a dad and loved having tiny kids in the house) but seeing this progress in them is actually much more exciting. Not just because it shows how much they are learning and how their mind's are developing. But because before I know it, they'll be reading teen fiction and then adult books. How fun to be able to share books with them as adults (electronically, I would imagine!) and how fun to sit around the table (be it ours or a table in their own homes as adults) and discuss and debate and share the things we've discovered in books.

* There's a shite ton of creative work happening in kid's fiction. Not just the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson stuff, but for all ages and all genres. Unless you have kids- or want to write kid fiction- I can't imagine this stuff is on your radar. It certainly wasn't on mine. But now that it is, it's such a cool new world to discover. And now that I've discovered it, I think I may actually have a kid/young adult book in me! But then again, I imagine most parents who rediscover the fun, imaginative, cool, varied, creative, and exciting world of kid fiction feel that way. I wonder if I'll ever really sit down and try to write the thing.

*The last- and most powerful- thing that stopped me cold when I saw these books is this: I am super, super blessed. By God? By random chance? By the team that programmed this super immersive VR simulation that I've been playing for the last 39 years? Hard to say- that's why I love being an agnostic...I don't have  to say! :)- BUT whatever it is that brings things into our lives, I've been blessed by it. Being a dad is the best thing I am and the best thing I ever will be. It is joy.



SexyBitch said...

Hey Jaffe have your daughters ever seen the games you have made or do you like to keep mum about it?

da criminal said...

They've seen Calling All Cars and the new Twisted Metal (they like to drive the cars around the levels) but I don't let them play God Of War. They know Kratos because I have a statue of him and a toy in the office but not because they play it.

SexyBitch said...

It would be so funny if they ask what he does and you tell them that he fights for love and rainbow sunshine fun.

da criminal said...

but...he does....

Artelios Rosewater said...

Wait a minute. His quest isn't to unleash the double rainbow? Shit..

Martin Herink said...

This one hits home. I've got 2 daughters as well, 2.5 and 1. It's funny you mention the chewed up caterpillar - we got one too, along with a miriad of other Carle books. The reading thing - definitely an instinct. We never talked about it with my wife, but it somehow happened just the same, and it's just as much a ritual now.

Derrick said...

I still have some clothes from when my kids were little (Size 2T) and I can't get rid of them. Now they are 11 and 13 and it breaks my heart that my babies aren't babies anymore. Gone are the days where my little girl would fall asleep in my lap (Age 2) while watching tv together. She's now too cool to hang with dad anymore.

Gone are the days where I would hold their fingers while they took wobbly steps trying to learn to walk. Gone are the days where they would just come up to me and give me a kiss for no reason. Man they grow up so damn fast.

So treasure EVERY moment with your kids, those are moments that you'll never be able to get back. Gotta go, making myself cry. (Yeah I'm a man and I'm crying cause I love my kids, anyone without kids won't understand)