Wednesday, March 11, 2009
It occurs to me that one of the joys of parenthood is that not only do you get the underlying biological satisfaction of passing along your DNA, but as a bonus you get to pass along a lot of your emotional baggage as well. Now considering my propensity for monumental self absorption, which of those two gifts to posterity do you suppose interests me the most?
Yeah, it’s all about the baggage for me. After all, it’s fine that future generations will benefit from the genetic diversity I’ve injected into the collective gene pool, (Eeeew?) but what’s much more immediate and interesting to me is the near-instant gratification of projecting a lifetime of hopes and dreams on my unsuspecting offspring. Really now, who of you out there hasn’t put a bat into Little Billy’s hands while secretly fantasizing about the huge checks that are bound to come rolling in from Nike? Or a golf club, or a football or whatever. Play your cards right and a decadently comfortable retirement on the Cote d'Azur can be yours, thanks to Little Billy.
But life doesn’t always cooperate, does it? Nope, just when I thought I had everything worked out, Fate has gone and thrown a surprisingly large wrench into the midst of my little plans. It seems, if you can believe it, that kids have a natural selfish streak and don’t always play along. To wit: My older boy is 13 now, and he’s long since lost any interest he had in baseball (or any other sensible sport, for that matter) and has spent the last year or two doing what? Playing music, of course.
That’s right, my favorite little retirement plan… I mean son, has decided to follow his muse, literally, and be a Rock-God. That’s right, a guitar-playing, song-writing, vocal-wailing musician. I’ve tried pointing out to him that as a musician the only likely future he can look forward to is one of a perpetual diet of Cheetos and sleeping on other people’s couches, but of course he thinks that sounds great. Great. (And what makes it even just that much more galling is that I wasn’t really even married to the notion of sports-star. Really, any of the clichéd old faves would have been fine. You know, doctor, lawyer, Indian chief.)
Oh well, I know it’s early yet and he’s liable to smarten up, but I guess it would be best for everybody if I just relaxed and let him be. When I look at it objectively, after all, he really is pretty talented. Ok, it’s more than that: he has a great ear, can pick up any instrument pretty much overnight, and jeez can he shred. Fine then. I guess I’ll just have to focus on his little brother instead.
And hey, you never know, it may work out for the older one. After all, I bet Mick Jagger bought his mum and dad a house or two.