“Can’t they have a childhood?”

Continuing my vacation by reflecting on the minds of others–this one from an interview with comedian Patton Oswalt. Oswalt is an everyman, a guy-next-door type. Very funny. In a recent interview with Scott Raab in Esquire, Oswalt reflects on how becoming a father has changed his outlook:

Patton Oswalt: I’ve gotten very cynical and kind of anhedonic about all the things I have to do to get to do comedy: all the travel, hotels, and airports. Louis C.K. has that great bit about how everything’s amazing and no one’s happy…I wanna get away from travel for a while. And I cannot tolerate being away from my daughter.

Scott Raab: How old is she?

PO: Three. I just… It really…

SR: I get that.

PO: Drives me crazy.

SR: You can’t buy back a day.

PO: She’s gonna have plenty of time to think life sucks, so I want her to think life is great. I get so bummed out when I see a lot of these archconservatives saying, “They give these kids trophies just for playing. Those are loser trophies! You gotta teach ’em!” If it makes you feel any better, they will end up an asshole, hard and cynical like you, trust me. Just give ’em a few years. I’m sorry that no one gave you a childhood, but can’t they have a childhood? I don’t want more people like me. I want happier people that are more optimistic.

Amen, Brother Oswalt. Amen.

PS Readers: I had to look up the word “anhedonic”. It is the inability to experience pleasure from activities usually found enjoyable.
Read more: Patton Oswalt Interview – Patton Oswalt Comedian Quotes – Esquire
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4 comments

  1. Childhoods are getting shorter and shorter these days. Oddly enough, while most adults are trying desperately to try to re-live theirs. There’s a correlation there I’m sure. I think it’s this. Adults and parents are too busy shirking their responsibility to release their children are growing up far too fast and far too furiously.

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    1. Great points! I totally agree. I’m am not perfect by any means as a dad, but I do try to give my kids TIME. By spending time with them now, I hope I can slow the ride down at least a bit. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. Amen, I say. Today is the day you have to spend innocence with your kids. Enjoy because I can attest to it going by so fast. I believe that the time we spend with our children in innocence is so short that we almost miss it. I wish I could have some of that time back as I see my daughters especially struggle with adulthood.

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    1. Liz, I love how reflective you are as a mother of grown children. As a mom and a grandmom you are more aware and open than many people I know your age. I just want you to see the strength I see in your comments and observations that you often share. Thanks for reminding me to live in the innocence–it is a great place to be:)

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