The last four months have been a turning point in my home life, and it’s because of the brats.

After Stuart was born a few months back, I took some time off work to become the primary caretaker of our older brat Eric. It was an amazing couple of weeks. Since around that time, we have noticed dramatic improvements in the richness of expression, sense of humour, of propriety and order in his world, complexity of thinking, and I was right there to help it along.

He went from his first explicit statement of preference, last fall, “want another (different) juice”, through comfort with technology (navigating portions of the web), reading with ease, elaborate demands (“I want to see a lancaster video on youtube”), to typing familiar words and correcting himself, making spontaneous soliloquies today (“I’m not an airplane, I have no propeller, I have no wings, I have no tail, I have no wheels. I want to fly.”), creating and laughing at word games, correcting people’s speaking shortcuts (“missing a T” as Juimiin slurs her trailing consonants). There are too many examples, some astounding, on how quickly this little handsome dude is developing, how entertaining he can be. And his little brother won’t be far behind.

Somewhere along the way, a bigger insight hit me. For the vast majority of people, there will be no meaningful artifacts left behind to mark their existence. Most day-to-day output is simply not worthy of any historical attention, even despite unbounded electronic storage that may preserve these insignificant words. So what’s left to do, if one’s not a superstar nor a serial inspirator? Create an offspring, and teach it well, for it is one’s sole effective legacy. If so, this lets one understand the peculiar anguish of a parent upon the loss of a child.