The almost 8-year-old girl stopped building her empire long enough to ask me how I know so many songs and then answered her own question.
“Daddy, I was going to ask you how you know so many songs and then I remembered it is because you were alive in the eighties.”
Her comment didn’t have anything to do with the music of the eighties or conversations about what I was doing then. That comment was said with a big smile and a glint in her eye that made it clear she was trying to tease daddy.
That is ok with me. I am one of the original troublemakers so I can’t fault her for following in my footsteps. I tease the people I like. If I don’t tease you it is because I am a grumpy old man who wants to use my size 12 boot on your behind.
Music has always been a central theme in our house. The kids have been dancing around the house for as long as I can remember. Could be because she and I started dancing together the day she was born.
The girl who tried to teach me how to shuffle started out twirling around to the Godfather Waltz and never stopped. Turn some music on and her little body starts to move. I don’t know if she is even aware of it. It is a part of her and I love it.
My children are growing up in a different world than I did. They think I am kidding when I talk about the Black and White television set my parents had when I was little.
I can’t make jokes about Rabbit Ear antennas, going to the drug store for tubes or snowy screens because they don’t know what I am talking about. They don’t know a Rotary phone from the Rotary Club either.
That is ok, things change.
They don’t appreciate how we couldn’t pause our television shows so we would have to “hold it” or just miss a part.
That is ok, things change.
Did I mention that the kids ask me why I repeat myself and tell bad jokes. When they say those things I tell them it is in the parent’s handbook and that when they hit junior high my goal will be to embarrass them as often as possible, because that is what people from the eighties do.
One day they’ll be big and have their own sets of memories and jokes about what life was like growing up. One day they’ll tell stories about their parents and their lives just as my siblings and I do now.
I know this to be true. I see it happening already. They talk about the old house and what life was like. Brother and sister share memories about things I said or did and laugh.
I love these moments. I lived them as a child and am doing so now as a parent.
Still it is sometimes surreal. I look at them and think about how college feels like it was yesterday and high school was last week.
But neither is true.
Technically my parents are senior citizens but that is more about decisions made by government and less about perception. I look at them and it is clear to me they aren’t “young” anymore but I don’t necessarily think of them as being “old” either.
They have entered that stage of life where it is not uncommon for health issues to creep up. Later this week we’ll mark the 8th anniversary of my father’s triple bypass.
Later this year we’ll mark a year since the fathers of two dear friends died. They were in their seventies. Not young men, but not really old either.
I look around and see friends who have parents who are in their eighties and recognize this as more evidence that time has passed for all of us.
What is strange to me is the realization that my children have reached a place where time will accelerate for all of us. I will blink and they will be in college. I won’t be old when that happens but I won’t be young either.
Does it really matter? Probably not.
What We Are Listening To
Can’t end this post without some links to some of what we have been listening to. Can’t walk away without mentioning that I responded to my girl’s crack about the eighties by saying that I was around during the sixties and seventies too. Should have seen how wide her eyes got.
- Where The Streets Have No Name- U2
- BURN IT DOWN- Linkin Park
- Little Talks- Of Monsters and Men
- Baby Got Back -Sir Mix-A-Lot
- This Little Girl Of Mine- Ray Charles
- Ain’t No Mountain High Enough- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
- Closer To The Heart- Rush
- Walk On The Wild Side- Lou Reed
- The Sun’s Gonna Shine Again- Ray Charles
- Summertime- Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong