Family values

The past couple of weeks the_weapon and I have been getting up at sparrowsfart to get him in for training. He is on the Falcon Academy team swim and they got through the district competition and on to the zones and regionals.

At the last meet I was sitting with the_weapon while we watched the team swim. One of the girls in his class MissyK was swimming. MissyK is from a family of evangelical Christians so in the past she has invited the_weapon along to her church. Needless to say being raised by a militant atheist he chose to decline, repeatedly.

MissyK swam stone dead last in her heat and she was pretty broken up about it, visibly upset as she got out of the pool and walking back. The_weapon got up and started to head over to her. I though what a caring, empathetic child I had.

I then remembered this is my child I was thinking about.

I jumped up and caught up to him before he spoke to her and said

“No asking, where is her messiah now, okay?”

The look on his face confirmed my suspicions. Fortunately by now one of the teachers was providing solace to distraught aquatic Christian.

So I think we have passed on the family value of atheism. As such I am excited that the Global Atheism festival is coming to Melbourne. Not enough stuff to hold a 10 year olds attention but still plenty happening around town like the atheism bus

and I am comfortable with that. What about you folk, any traits your family’s have you want to ensure are passed on. Musicial talent, freakish recall of sporting minutia, ability to roll your tongue into a tube?



  1. My son (year 8) was put into the class of an ex-student of mine (epic fail on my part that she became a teacher). She greeted him with "Oh no! Little Greybeard. Now your father will know I can't teach." He replied (deadpan) "It's all right Miss, I think he already knows". Parent-teacher interviews were hell for my wife. "He's so articulate and creative and (blah, blah, blah) BUT – always the BUT – isn't he like his father?" They said it like it was a BAD thing. Personally I think sarcasm, excruciatingly bad puns and the urge to puncture the pompous are positive traits.

  2. Positive traits indeed. Your story above provoked, not just a wry smile but an outright guffaw.

  3. If I had kids it would be imperative that they be nerdily obsessed with all things t.v. and film. Otherwise, I'd consider myself a parental failure. 🙂

  4. My littlest bloke can roll his tongue, like me. Mum can’t do it though.

    He swims well, and is pretty damn smart. I was no sportsman, but always active. Mum was an Aust. level track cyclist, triathlete and distance runner…as long as the boy doesn’t sit on his arse it’s all good as far as we are concerned.

    I can play guitar and bass – learned by ear, can’t read music. Mum is tone deaf. I’d like to think he got my side of the genes there!

    At the end of the day I just want him to be self sufficient, and a thinker. And to enjoy being active in some way.

    My other three older sons – who live with their mum…oooh boy big kettle of fish there! It’d take too much space to write about them….as they are variously 14,13 and 12 (the Littlest Bloke is 4.5) they have the attendant teenage issues! But as long as they turn out productive, thinking citizens and not criminals or dole bludgers, I’m happy.

    • No a bad wish list to have for offspring, but that tongue rolling thing is pure genetics.

  5. Hmmm. You raise a good question. Thus far I have spent much more time thinking about which qualities of mine I want to ensure the shorties don't take up.

  6. Yeah I know – Wifey and I have discussed often. Seems most of my in-laws can do it, she alone of her siblings cannot roll her tongue…she must have got the regressive genes for some reason.

  7. …actually, I’m more on the side of trying to restrict certain traits and behaviours. To relatively civilised levels, at least.

  8. "No asking, where is her messiah now, okay?"Ah, the militantly religious. Not good with facts.

  9. I reckon teach him a straight aim and a steady trigger finger, concentrating on Zed's brain. And how to clean zombie detritus from chainsaw teeth.

  10. What’s the boy’s best swim stroke, Barnesy?

    There’s nothing wrong with inviting someone to church. There’s nothing wrong with being an atheist. Rather a shame that after the invitation and the refusal that people can’t respect the other’s beliefs and leave it at that.

    • mmm best stroke is probably backstroke, working on butterfly and that’s hard.

      Agree with you on showing others respect for what they believe in. I told the_weapon he could go to the church and see what happens if he wanted, to which he declined. Its hard to explain to an 10year old that you can show respect to the person and still not respect what they believe.

      In the words of Professor Ian Hood in the British series ‘Eleventh hour’ when a local religious man responded to Hood’s explanation for a series of events “you have your beliefs I have mine” Hood emphatically replied
      “its isn’t a belief, it is science!”

  11. We are congenitally predisposed to punnery. And there's a low brass gene that skipped me but my intellikid inherited.

  12. Found you late, but not never! You did right not to let him point out the absence of divine flippers on her little Christian feet, but what is a good time to rub it in???

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