Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Of dragons and dreams

The big boys and I were sitting around, playing with a "magic wand", pretending to turn each other into things. N-man said, "I don't need a magic wand. I don't want to be anything but what I am. And I'm a dragon."

He said it with such confidence and matter-of-factness. He's totally happy to be himself, which today happens to be a dragon.


This reminds me of the very first time I got on the internet (I mean the kind of internet kids today would find recognizable). It was 1995 or early 1996. That school year TK and I lived a thousand miles away from each other while he was in his first year of grad school and I was finishing up my senior year of college.

Let's be clear...I'd used the internet before that. Email was already a favored form of communication, and TK and I kept our phone bills down by chatting online. I'd browsed around text-based discussion groups, joining conversations on a whole slew of insane (and inane) topics. My roommate in college was actually one of the very early trolls, posting inflammatory comments and reveling in the attention it brought. And yes, in real life she was just like you'd expect from someone who trolls, though that's a story for a different day.

I'm talking about my first time browsing websites. It was a much different web back then. Many websites were cobbled together by techies and geeks with various degrees of proficiency. The results were often intentionally, or better yet unintentionally, hilarious. I went down to visit TK, and while he had class, I played around on his computer, taking advantage of the ethernet connection in his dorm room. In a very first glimpse of the time-suck the internet would become, I killed an hour and a half surfing the web.

One website I came across has stuck with me all this time. It was a loving tribute to dragons, put up by some guy who really, really liked dragons. The highlight of the page was a fairly long essay this person wrote about how awesome dragons are. The conclusion really sold it, though. I still remember it: "Do I want to be a dragon? Stupid question. Of course I do."

I love it. The way it completely misses the reason why it's a stupid question. Though to be honest, I suspect that if I ever met this guy, we'd get on great. And more and more often, I'm beginning to suspect this is how N-man is going to be. No, I don't mean a colossal dragon-loving nerd, but someone whose brain works a little off-kilter of everyone else's, but he remains blissfully unaware of it.

It's so amazing to watch the kids grow and develop their different personalities. B-man is also growing into an amazing little person, though in a completely different way. That'll have to be a topic for a different day if I ever hope to get this posted.

For now, though, I'm done feeding the baby and off to play with the big kids. For today, am I a dragon? Stupid question. Of course I am.


LauraC said...

We just had this EXACT conversation on my girls weekend, about how revolutionary the internet was when it came out and how surprising it was that people went to such great lengths to make the stupidest web pages.

jongirl said...

This is a beautiful story from a beautiful "dragon". Thanks for sharing; I love it!