At dinner tonight, Caroline wanted us to hear a song she likes (she likes the beat, she says). Turns out it was a song called “No Promises” by a band called Cheat Codes.
She’s right, it does have a very good beat to the song. But I couldn’t get past one line in the song:
“Promise me no promises”
How can you promise no promises? The very act of promising no promises breaks the promise that you just got done promising you wouldn’t promise. Hence, you can never make that promise without breaking said promise, and the world ends up folding in upon itself. Now if you kept up with that, maybe you can explain it to me!
And, oh by the way, it fascinates me that she listens to music through Pandora (for random “shuffle”), and YouTube (of all things) for finding a specific song. No iTunes, no Amazon Music. No taking advantage of our extremely large existing iTunes library.
Purchasing music may, in fact, be leaving us. This fact just proves to me that the “latest trend” is passing me by.
And with that, my transformation to my dad is complete.
I hear the word “forever” used in lots of places as I go through my everyday. “I’ll love you forever”, “I’ll be here forever”, ”that’ll be here forever”, “this will be remembered forever”, or “they’ll rest here forever in peace”. That last one struck me as I drove past a cemetery one Saturday a couple of weeks back. The sad reality is that it’s just not true. Think of some of the things you think about truly being forever:
The idea of you
Your resting place
Even your country
But guess what?
After several generations, you (as an individual person) will be forgotten.
People that you love, and love you, will die.
Your existence will be erased by time.
Land will be needed for other purposes.
Countries rise and fall.
It’s hard to think of something, anything, that will truly be here forever. Forever is a really, really long time. The concept of forever is infinite. Is anything really infinite?
I often here the word “eternity” thrown about, especially when it comes to the idea of what’s after death. It’s hard for me to believe that. For many reasons.
There is a sadness that washes over me when I think about the lack of a “forever”. Like something is lost. Something that will never return. And I realize that I, and everything I love, hope for, wish for, will be forgotten at some point. As if it, or I, never existed.
So I focus on what I can control. To live and love to the fullest while I am here. While I have time. While I still matter. While I am not forgotten.
This picture was taken just under 5 years ago. Caroline was still a little girl. Brian looks so much like a young child. They are not that now.
They are still my kiddos, yes. And I willl always see them as such. But they are growing up so fast. As Jayme told my sister this morning, it’s only 6 years that we’ll be taking Caroline to college. Brian is about to hit his growth spurt and he’ll be asking for keys to the car before you know it.
I’m just not sure I’m ready for this.
Just study this picture, and you will know most of what you need to know about my dad.
- Loves music? Check!
- Beatles fan? Check!
- Still reads paper magazines? Check!
- Needs glasses to read those paper magazines? Check!
- No way he’s cutting the dish/cable apparatus? Check!
- Need to know the temperature because he’s old? Check!
- Yet still uses earbuds for his iPod (yes, an actual iPod)? Check!
Yep, this is him. Very much surrounded by what he loves. And very much set in his ways.
And I love him everyday for it.
A couple of weeks ago, the trailer for the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, was released. Several co-workers gathered in our conference room and watched it multiple times on the Surface Hub.
It was a shared experience between lovers of this movie saga. We dissected the meanings behind the dialogue, commented on the music, spoke about how awesome December was going to be when the movie is actually released. It was fun. It was enjoyable. Like I said, a shared experience.
But when I got home, I realized that this unifying experience was not limited to our conference room. Twitter was alive with the buzz of the trailer. People from every walk of life: Geeks, Politicians, Sports Writers, Tech CEOs, Software developers, Literary Writers. The whole gamut was represented in the “audience” of Star Wars fans.
It occurred to me at that moment, that Star Wars is THE unifying force (pun *not* intended) in our current climate. With so much divisiveness present in our collective society, this one movie franchise seems to have the power to bring us all together.
I wonder if George Lucas ever dreamt that would be the case way back when this story was forming in his mind.
Editorial Note: Despite the tragedies that are the prequels, he should be very, very proud.
Day in and day out is a struggle. Work. Kids. Family. Relationships that run through all facets of my life. Soccer practice. Managing. Coding. Speaking. Not sleeping well.
It gets overwhelming. Most days end with utter exhaustion. Some end with anger. Some end with laughter. Some end with emptiness. Some end with joy. And some even end with the feeling that no matter how hard you try, there’s always something waiting to drag you down.
Then, there is a moment that warms your heart like no other. It makes you realize why you push through all of that stuff above. One of those moments happened to me last night. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Caroline had soccer practice yesterday evening. I had been in meetings all day. Struggling against the idea that I’m getting nothing done. Feeling inadequate, to be perfectly honest, on many levels.
It’s about 9:30pm. Brian’s tucked in, he’s down for the night. And Caroline walks out to tell me she’s ready for bed. Her hair is wet as I hug and kiss her goodnight. She loves taking baths after dinner these days. And as I turn to go, I see her start to climb the stairs to her bed. She’s holding something in her other hand.
Clutched in her left hand is her doll. Not just any doll. The only doll. One that she affectionately calls “Baby” because she didn’t know any better name when she received it when she was less than a year old. That doll has been through everything with her. Moves. Fights with friends. Sicknesses. Sleepovers. Family trips. Everything.
She climbed that ladder, “Baby” in tow, without any fanfare at all. It was simply part of her routine. Part of her. Maybe she’s done this night after night and I just haven’t noticed it. But I noticed it last night.
And I realized something. Deep down, underneath all of the sass and attitude and facade of wanting to be cool and accepted that comes with pending teenage-dom, she’s still my baby girl. And she still has some of that innocence left. Yes, it will eventually fade with time, even though I wish it’d stay forever. But it’s still there right now. And that makes me unbelievably happy.
I needed that moment.
More than I realized.
I’m not negotiating a common reality with someone who can hear the words “President Trump” and not experience an oxymoron. Who can look at the Flynn situation and say the problem is the media leaked this. I’m done negotiating that common reality. I don’t care if I’m above or below the person I’m not negotiating with anymore. In my estimation, that person is an enemy of the American Republic. I am no longer in dialogue with them.
FINALLY, someone is starting to say this out loud. Some of us have been saying this for months and months. (If you click on the picture above, you can listen to the entire rant. I do encourage you to do so.)
It’s time to stop fucking accepting that all of this is normal. This is not normal. This doesn’t happen with every president. This doesn’t happen with every administration. Stop fucking saying it is. It’s not.
And if you say it is, you are lying. As Stephen addresses in the quote above, I’m done even approaching a common, intellectual conversation with you. Because your reality is a purely fictional one.
It’s that simple.