I have watched my child’s evolution. I have seen him grow and learn. Some things I know he inherited, other ones indeed he has learned from watching. And some other ones, I’ve taken the time to teach him correctly. His very unique personality traits have already begun to develop, and I can see who he is as a human being. He’s going to be a good, wise man, no matter what kind of world we have in the future.
He was bullied at school and learned to defend himself and his friends. He told me he even had to use his fists once. I was not in the country when it happened. He was called to the principal’s office, and as the other kid was much bigger and known for being a bully, the kiddo was not scolded.
He developed a strong bond with a few children who were similar to him. He had been taught to respect children without his capabilities or who weren’t like his little crew of friends. Interestingly, all of these kids were small for their age but much smarter than their older peers. He grew up surrounded by adults, so he always has been mature for his age.
Why I call this an apocalypse and how it has affected our life
Living together, just him and I, has been an absolute pleasure. We were apart for eight months while I was in Ecuador. It was challenging for Venezuelans to find a job there. A few weeks after my arrival, things got violent in Ecuador. I then chose to move to Peru.
And then the virus hit. Violence has begun to erupt here, and one thing is sure, we can not stay here. The locals and the migrants have begun to turn against one another. Once the sort of violence we are seeing here now begins, it escalates rapidly. It starts among the criminals first and then sweeps into the regular population.
Why do I call this an “apocalypse”? Some say it is only a collection of “isolated” events in a hostile environment. A virus that could potentially kill you if not treated right. In a city with a population of 11 million. In a place where someone from a car could shoot a helpless victim and be hours away with no one ever seeing a thing. If the victim is a “foreigner,” as they call us, the crime becomes even less important.
If these were “regular conditions” we were living in, I would not be concerned. The virus and ensuing pandemic seem to have destroyed common moral standards. All this stress can trigger violence in some already compromised psyches and push them into prey or be preyed upon mode. I’m not exactly easy prey, but I understand how dangerous an unforeseen threat from people pushed to these limits can be.
A little humor and a peek into my child’s mind
I watch and feel my child is growing through all of this mess.
I have a very personal anecdote that I would like to share. This way, I am sure it will be much easier to paint a picture of this generation of survivors growing up among us.
Cleaning his bedroom, my now ex found a capped soda bottle filled up with sand. When his mom asked our kid what the bottle was for (he was 4 or 5 years old), he told her it was “war mace.” He said if anyone trespassed our home, he would strike the intruder in the head. As he barely could reach my waist, I suggested him a much more accessible (and painfully disabling) target.
After we all stopped laughing, I told him his ideas for defending his home were great and never stop working on them.
Well, telling him that seems to have worked much better in his mind than I would have imagined. His mind seems to be a fascinating place and still under construction. He watches videos in his free time to learn how to manufacture an entire collection of tools to throw or be used as weapons.
Documentaries, experiences, self-taught and Dad-taught
We still share many of the same daily rituals as before. Now I take a bit more advantage of what he watches to teach him the difference between a conductive material and a non-conductive one, for example. Or the units we use in Physics to measure resistance, the concept of what current is, how matter is structured, and stuff like that. And I teach him why materials are as they are. We have talked a lot, and we enjoy watching documentaries on ancient weapons and history.
We watch a good amount of documentaries about everything. My boy knows the industrial world is a very vibrant and interesting one, but he hates noise and stress. I am different. I grew up in my dad’s workshop. The day I didn’t receive an electric shock was rare. Or a laceration of some kind. It’s not like my dad was a careless one! On the contrary, but he was taking care of the business, and we kids are not exactly easy to watch the whole time.
We watch “Deadliest Warrior” and the excellent show “Forged in Fire.” As a metallurgist, I find this a GREAT show of how artisans carry forth techniques without an excess of all the materials science involves. For those of us understanding the tiniest details, it is just fascinating.
Once, I mentioned to my kiddo that we could rebuild our rototiller that my dad received as a gift 25 years ago. We could make it work for decades. I explained to him exactly how the parts that remove the earth could be improved by tempering. I even described the process of rearranging the atoms and how the more rigid structure “freezes” when submerged in oil or water. He truly seemed to like all of this knowledge.
I discovered this video where the owner adapted a rototiller very similar to ours to be electric. Our terrain back home is very rocky; preparing it will be a minimum of 6 months of hard work. I’m accumulating enough “energy” around my waist to use as a strategic reserve (lol) in the hopes of getting some production out of the patch of land before it disappears.
My boy began to look for other tools made in a forge, like tomahawks, arrow tips, and he found a video to build a bow arch for a “tool.” Afterward, he discovered how to build some (ahem) “protection” tools to be used at a safe distance of a trespasser, letting the trespasser know, “unknown visitors won’t be tolerated.”
Self-reliance is more important than ever right now
In case I am not around for some reason to continue teaching him, I must transmit the importance of self-reliance to him now. My boy is at the perfect age to learn about fire discipline and how to camouflage and disappear into the woods just like I, his uncle, and our friends used to do, playing seek-and-hide in the forest as teenagers.
He already knows rabbit poop works excellent as a methane-producing bacteria media inside a gas bio-digestor. He’s written his ideas about keeping critters in a much more humane way instead of metal cages suspended from the ground. He’s a great, good-hearted, animal-loving kid. I am amazed he even eats fried chicken. When he learned his Grannie owns a ceramic oven, he immediately asked if he could use it for “something.” I asked him what he was planning, as it consumes lots of energy and is relatively dangerous. Then I said, “When I see what I can do with it, I will let you know.” LOL (Of course, only if Grannie allows it!)
He already knows how to preserve meat using the sun. We will try making bacon soon. He loves bacon. He already knows that we will need special salt to make the bacon. Did I tell you he loves bacon?
His knowledge goes on and on. My boy knows that a hen needs calcium to lay good eggs. He knows that a fish pond filled with fish will produce calcium and that rabbit bones are a good source of calcium, too. Our hot-dog project taught him about “added value” and the cost of labor.
I had to learn these things the hard way, indeed. I have no option but to give him tools to solve problems for the “Brave New World” I see coming on the horizon. Sure, I teach him math, astronomy, and algebra. I have taught him to write something on a preferred topic and then translate it to English to learn new vocabulary.
Through it all, I am honored to watch him grow
My apocalypse child is slowly but steadily becoming a man through these seemingly unreal times we are living in. If the future is going to be much worse, I don’t know. But I do know my child’s brain and survival skills are developing rapidly. He WILL survive to take care of his children and teach them how to survive.
What skills are you teaching your children?
Are you teaching your kids preparedness skills? What are some unusual skills that your children have which most kids their age do not? What methods do you use to teach your kids survival lessons? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151 or BTC: 3Kzy3Csejjg8je91eb7kcFNKiKWjYS
This is great Jose, thanks for sharing. I grew up in a similar context, and I’m actually thankful for that. I believe this should be the way to grow every person, not in an apocalyptic context of course, but in this way of being aware, practical yet sensible. Congrats for having this spirit and imbuing it on your kid, you both deserve all the best. Let’s keep moving forward in these difficult times, we’ll be better for it in the end I’m sure. Stay safe.
Thanks for your kind words. I know that, rather than material goods and financial assets, the best legacy we can leave to our loved ones behind us, is the concept of personal freedom, independence, and learning life won´t be eternal, and they should enjoy it one day at the time, always with their sight in the horizon.
Thank you Jose. This was a beautiful, moving story. It was thought provoking also.
Thanks. It has much of myself, indeed.
We’ve taught our kids (now teens) how to shoot, and hunt large and small game. They have always helped process the animals, from field dressing to the final wrapped packages. They fish and light the campfires we use to cook the fish. They’re pretty good at foraging for safe, edible plants. They have been taught self defense since they were small. My son is in the Young Marines program, which I highly, highly recommend if you’ve got one in your area! Great way to learn self-disciple and survival skills.
As for your garden – look for the book Lasagna Gardening by Patricia Lanza, or just google that phrase. It’s a MUCH easier, much more productive, much quieter 🙂 way of producing really good soil using readily available materials, on top of existing soil. I’ve been teaching classes on it here locally for years and it’s amazingly productive and way less expensive – no tillers required, ever. This is great for everyone from kids to little old ladies, and everyone in between.
Also teach your kids how to grow microgreens – that’s a fast, super nutritious vegetable option when you don’t have alot of room to grow a garden, or time. If the SHTF, grocery stores aren’t going to have piles of vegetables available anymore, but you don’t want to get sick or have a reduced immune system. Look into it – lots of good info online. It’s fast enough that kids stay interested.
I also will quietly ask my kids when we’re in a big store or something, somewhere there’s alot of people questions like, “Who are you keeping an eye on? What’s going on with that guy over there? Do those kids look safe?” just to help keep their situational awareness up. We have a flat-out rule about not being on cellphones when we’re out and about around people. I try to teach them to watch people (unobtrusively), to think situations through. Is what you want to do potentially dangerous, in that it makes you vulnerable to others who may have bad intentions? Our town is along a major arterial highway and there is a high percentage of trafficking through here – I want to make sure that my kids are hard targets at the very least. Both kids (boy and girl) carry pocket knives and are comfortable and familiar with them.
You´re right. That learning program you describe is a great one. Unfortunately don´t have any space here nor the means to teach him to shoot. I haven´t provided him with a cellphone neither, because of our financial situation and because we´re together at home most of the time. I do want to get a couple of radios though. In our hutch back in Venez there´s no cellphone signal, too many mountains. He needs a little more training on being aware of his surroundings, but I don´t want to stress him too much with that. Just in a natural way. There is a tense situation against the Venezuelans in Peru, and I just don´t want he feels threatened by that. I told him to imitate the local accent as much as he can, to not outstand as a foreigner, and he does better than I do.
All very cosy but there’s no virus
Tell me that after you have had it. Don’t be ignorant.