Sometimes I think I’m setting myself up for future hardship. No, not in my writing. We have a new toy truck at our house which, of course, means it has the undivided attention of both children. We were taking turns with the truck, making sure each child had an equal opportunity to play with it. It worked really well. The screaming was decreased by half at least. At one point, in the back of my head I heard a child’s voice say “But that’s not fair!” And a future me saying “who said life is fair” “You did, when you taught us to take turns”. Now I’m not going to stop teaching my children to be nice, share and take turns, but am I giving them unrealistic expectations of life? The only thing I can think of is that I’m trying to give them the skill set they need at this age. In the future I’ll give them the skills they need at that point, including telling them that life isn’t fair and sometimes they just don’t get a turn.
Then, as always, I started thinking about my characters. We’re always told to put them up a tree and throw rocks at them. We set them up for big disasters, usually while making them think they’re going to be ok. Often we don’t feel bad about it. We laugh maniacally and post on our blogs with glee what we do to them. Often the idea is that the more unfairly our MC is treated the better the book. Sometimes doing these things to our characters does hurt, just as if we were watching a child struggle, but we let them continue because we know they’ll be stronger in the end. Maybe that’s why I’m trying to teach my children to share and take turns. Because it well make them better people in the long run, even though they may have to learn to look at the world differently later.
I don’t really know where I was going with this, if anywhere. Just some random thoughts.