Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Good Reminder

For Christmas, my adult children converted all the videos taken during their childhoods into DVDs.  I can’t stop watching them.  Four-year-old Evan “explaining” pistons, two-year-old Cara singing “Jingle Bells” the real way and also with the dirty words her dad taught her.  Me in high-waisted, stonewashed jeans with front pleats that do unspeakable things to my ass.  Evan playing drums and practicing for karate belt promotions.  Cara walking when she was just shy of nine months.  Both kids skiing like maniacs.  Me and my dog Henry at obedience school.  (What a waste of time that was.)   Family vacations with our great friends the Bruces.
An orgy of memory and nostalgia.

My son, who turns twenty-five today, dances in blues clubs five nights out of seven and regularly competes in west-coast swing competitions.  Last week, I said to him, “Isn’t it amazing to see how much time you spent playing drums and doing karate?  And now you don’t do those things anymore.”  (He still skis like a maniac.)  And he said, “Well, but dancing came out of playing drums and doing karate.”

Of course he’s right.  Playing drums exposed him to the intricacy of music, the joy of beat and rhythm.  And karate is all about controlling one’s body in space.

It’s nice to know that the things that gave him pleasure as a boy have morphed into something that has enhanced his life as a man.

It’s a good reminder that we are truly the sum total of all the things we have loved and hated, all that we have accomplished, the places we have been, the books we’ve read, the people we’ve known.  Everything.

Although it kills me to think that I am in any way a product of those jeans.