(This piece ran 5 years ago. I am taking a look back and asking myself if I still feel the same or have things changed.)
Among thinking people there is a fundamental question that is asked about our place in the world. Who are we? What are we doing here? What does it all mean? How can I be a parent? Will my children ever really know me as my friends do or are they destined to see me as nothing but their parent.
Ok, that is more than one question but it hits on a central theme of who am I and why am I here. I don’t spend much time wondering why I am here. I am. I live and I breathe and while I walk the earth I might as well enjoy myself.
For me one of the tougher questions is tied into my children. I sometimes wonder how they will see me. By the time that they are old enough to really start asking these questions on a deeper level I will most likely be in my fifties.
What kind of man will they see? I won’t look like I do now. In my mind’s eye I see that 19 year-old boy who wore a flat top and had a rock hard body that was chiseled and solid courtesy of hours spent swimming and lifting weights. I see the boy who drove a ’69 Dodge Dart Swinger, a ’77 Camaro and a ’77 Chevy Impala.
I see a free spirit. I see a shirtless tanned body and a pair of shorts and I remember knowing that my parents had never been like me, that they were so very serious and different. I remember thinking that they couldn’t know what it was like to be so madly in love that it made their heart ache and their lungs burn. I remember thinking that they had never partied as hard as I did or laughed as much.
Now at 36 I look back and smile. I was immature and short on life lessons and I suspect that my children will look at me through similar eyes. Sometimes I find that to be difficult. Sometimes it bothers me that my children will know me so very differently than others do and other times it makes perfect sense.
One day I am going to die. One day my physical presence here will end. The light in my eyes will be extinguished and there won’t be anything but memories of me. I don’t need to leave a legacy of stone, no building need be erected in my honor or memory.
The only legacy that I need is that provided by my children and any offspring that they may have. It is a weird thought and a strange corner that I am trying to explore. I am not sure that any of this makes any sense, but…
I’ll come back to this topic again. It is something that I will revisit.