Tuesday, November 04, 2003
On Becoming Your Parent(s)
You ever have one of those days when you realize you’re getting old? I mean really realize it . . . like you’re turning into your parents? Not when you say something and sound like your mom, or look in the mirror and see your father’s weary eyes. But when you begin thinking like your parents.
I was listening to Faith by The Cure in the car (on my way to pick up my mother and take her for an X-ray after she fell in her bathroom this morning). Anyway, I was thinking about how I used to have song lyrics on poster board thumb-tacked to my bedroom walls in high school. I had the words to “Primary” up there, along with a few others. But I remember one of my parents telling me that, some day, none of that stuff would matter to me. And I had that exact thought as I was in my car around lunchtime.
How am I going to tell my daughter that when she’s a teenager? When she’s rockin’ out to whatever rap-metal equivalent we have in 2018, how am I going to say, “Y’know, sweetie, this shit you’re listening to . . . you’re just gonna look back and laugh that you cared so much about this band . . . SweatHive is it?” Or, “Who is this? Jenny Skank and the VibroStrumpets? One day, Mia, none of this silly music you listen to will matter so much.”
I try and rebel against these thoughts as much as possible. I sing along to “Charlotte Sometimes” and “The Figurehead” whenever I can suppress my grown-up sense of embarrassment. I continue to play in a band (as does my wife), despite the wishes of my in-laws. And I basically have the same haircut I had a decade ago.
Yeah, I can see it now . . . I’m gonna lay into Mia about her musical tastes, and she’s gonna look at me with my thinning hair I have pulled back into a ponytail and say, “Grow up, dad.”