Hey Remember That Time When I Did That Thing?
When I was a kid I have to very defining moments when I did something I didn’t like, but I did it well. I played on a soccer team called The Dynamites—I generally picked flowers on the field. Your grandfather coached the team, because he was really in to sports. I also played on a softball team for a couple seasons when I was a kid—I generally picked flowers in the outfield. I later learned that he dreamed of being a professional baseball player, which I never knew before. The apple fell far from that tree, because I was never interested in competitive sports. I didn’t have the desire to compete. It wasn’t “my thing.”
The two times that I did this thing I didn’t want to do, but I did it well were these: We played a soccer game against parents and I went between the legs of a mom and everyone cheered like I did something so great. It’s trivial now, as I relay the story, but the feeling that I did this thing so well that I was cheered felt good. The other time I was standing in the outfield picking flowers and a pop-fly headed my way. I caught that mother fucker and everyone cheered. I, again, felt so proud. I did this thing, and I did it well. Your grandfather was so proud.
You’re going to like some really shitty things, kiddo.
Music and movies and tv shows and—deep exhale—sports. But it’s my job as your father to make sure that I am in to those things as well. When I grew older I started becoming interested in music, not good music of course (I pouted through a Allman Brother’s show—on stage, then got offered a line of coke—and I was thoroughly unimpressed with an Elton John show, to name 2 of a more than 2) I liked pop music, because that’s what they played. But your grandfather took notice, and he and your grandmother helped me buy my first drum set. I wasn’t any good for a long time, but I kept playing and playing. Eventually I grew to be not terrible.
So your grandfather, who is probably as tone deaf and “beat-less” as you can be, from what he says, nurtured music in me. Now I am not beat-less or tone deaf because of my time with music, and that’s actually almost as rewarding as the $50,000+ I’ve spent on education. Being able to sing a song or tap a beat is useful and enjoyable for your entire life. But I wouldn’t have gotten there if it wasn’t for that fateful day in Michael’s Music, where I was allowed to buy my first drum set (paid back to ‘Nanny and Pops’ in monthly installments because I worked to buy the things I wanted).
Thomas the Train is one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen.
I remember hating it as a kid, and I pretty much despise it now. It’s about 30 years of bullshit television that has been allowed to exist because the next generation is too young and stupid to know otherwise. However, you fucking love Thomas the Train and Peppa Pig and Umi Zoomi and Blue’s Clues (catchy tunes, I admit) and I just deal with it, because that’s what parents do, they deal with their stupid kid’s stupid tastes in stupid things. But Fella, when your eyes light up because the theme song comes on, or Percy does something totally expected (unless you’re 3, you don’t expect anything) or Blue got another fucking letter, that’s where the magic happens. Kids feast on wonder and magic. Parents feast on the wonder and magic in their kid’s eyes.
I really hope you’re into gaming and reading and listening to good music and writing, but those are my things, kiddo. I fully expect for you to forge your own path, discover your own thing, and just enjoy life. I’ll wear the team shirts and accept monthly payments for musical instruments and sing Boy Band songs and try my best to be completely open and supportive of your terrible life decisions. After all, I am your biggest fan.