The Day I Blew My Four-Year-Old Son’s Mind

In going through my 1997 book, Jamming the Media, looking for content to pull for Borg Like Me, I came across this little anecdote in the introduction. Blake was FOUR! #borglikeme

My four-year-old son, Blake, and I had just finished a father and son project. He’d created a picture on our Macintosh, using a paint program that he already knows better than I do. We printed the art out on our laser printer and he decided that he wanted to make some additions to it. He didn’t want to make the changes in the paint program, he announced, he wanted to make multiple copies of the art at various sizes and then collage them together. With my permission, he fired up our desktop copier and waited patiently for the green ready light. After reducing and enlarging the image several times and cutting and pasting, he presented the finished art to me. After my obligatory parental praises and head pats, he announced, “I want to fax it to someone!” I racked my brain trying to think of a suitable recipient who knew Blake and had a fax machine. I scribbled down a number on a piece of paper and handed it to him as he confidently padded over to the fax machine. He fed the paper in properly, dialed the number, and sent the fax as he obnoxiously mimicked the high-pitched fax tones. Later, when I was tucking him into bed and telling him how much fun I’d had, I casually added: “By the way, did you know that all of that stuff we used tonight—the computer, the laser printer, the copier, the fax machine—basically didn’t exist just a few years before you were born? It’s all new technology.” He looked genuinely stunned, his eyes darting back and forth, trying to grasp the thought. He managed a simple, distant “Really?” as he rolled over, his eyes still wide and blinking with confusion.

“My God, I think I just blew the kid’s mind,” I thought, as I turned off the light and left the room.

Published by Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: