It's been awhile since I've taken the opportunity to dust off my laptop and entertain the masses with my pathetic attempt at entertaining prose. LOL Thought I'd take a few minutes to reflect upon the good old days. Now, according to my teenage son, I'm so ancient that the "good ol' days" must surely involve large reptillian creatures roaming a newly formed earth, and such profound advancements in modern technology as "fire", and "the wheel". But, I can assure you as I jettison through my thirty-seventh year on Earth, that the most archaic inventions that I can recall in the hazy corners of my memory are "Atari" and "Cabbage Patch Kids".
I spent countless hours yesterday afternoon, trying to convince my son that somewhere between my nerdy years of high school and the mundane and practical years of today, there lurked an adventurous, popular, and. . .(dare I say it?), COOL, me. I was freakin' awesome! Totally beast! (Okay, okay....maybe not THAT great... but, at least I didn't wear my slippers to the mailbox!)
I used to stay out all night... now, I'm in bed by ten. I used to sing old Zeppelin tunes with the band... now I sing about good manners and the importance of friendship with Barney. I used to eat cold pizza and drink warm beer for breakfast... now, it's something tasteless and whole grain with a side of YUCK.
I've metamorphasized from my former self. The parts that were once smooth are now wrinkled. The parts that were firm are now saggy. I've transformed into this strange being that I hardly recognize from decades past. But, somewhere along the way, I've learned things...gained a wisdom that was once clouded in the midst of too much hairspray... lying dormant deep within myself until I was mature enough to truly understand. I try to tell my kids about the secrets I have learned; try to open their eyes to the realities of life before they have to experience the pain and disappointment of taking the wrong paths. But, they are young, and they know everything.... just as we all think we do at that age.
Somewhere between the after-school snack and an hour of "GuitarHero", I tried to enlighten my son with these words of wisdom:
1. You create your own happiness.... don't look to others to provide it for you.
2. Be yourself. If people don't like you for who you are, then they are the ones losing out.
3. Empathize with others.
4. Always do your best.
5. Listen to your conscience.
The list went on for several minutes, my son feigning attentiveness as he strummed on the plastic-video-game-controller-GuitarHero-thingie. I addressed every issue that I remembered ignoring when my mother spoke to me... many, many years ago.
It was then that I learned one of life's hardest lessons. You can't protect your kids from everything painful in life. It is the pain and disappointments in life, and the way you choose to deal with them that make you an adult. It is dealing with and learning from your mistakes that forms your character. It's something you can't teach. There are no lectures that will soften the blows in life. There's no way to cure every boo-boo with a band-aid and a kiss. You have to let go... even if it's just a little at a time. It's hard.
So, maybe there are countelss differences between my son and I. But, passing through my life...remembering my youth... I can see the similarities. So, yeah....it's been a long time since I rock and rolled. But, I haven't forgot the lyrics yet!