I was talking with my son on the phone this morning, and for a moment or two, I heard the faint echoes of my father talking to me. I remembered back when I was young and my dad and I used to have father, son talks, and the same tones that he used, I heard coming from me. I thought to myself, “Have I turned into my father?” I guess the answer to that question is probably, “Yes, in some ways, I most certainly have.”.
talk about taking a step into the next generation! Talk about hearing those same phrases coming out of my own mouth! talk about instinct being born from age! Talk about not enough chocolate!
Ok. I’m back. sorry.
There I was, rolling through those old familiar quotes and opinions and recommendations and insight and oh my word I thought I had traveled through a mind melding time warp or something. I got a chill up my spine, and as my son listened to me on the other end, I kept talking. I kept talking and remembering and contemplating and some sort of unknown wisdom was eeking out of me, through the phone, to him, my only son. I don’t know if this is possible, but I was probably more inspired by what I was saying to him than he was. I had gone over these same points with him before, you know, you’re in charge of your own life and it is going to be what you make of it. All that same old stuff that I have said to him a few more times than I can remember, except this time, I was listening too.
As I talked to him on the phone, I paced back and forth in the kitchen, from the sliding window above the table, to the sink, back to the window, and so on, and some more. I think I have worn the color out of the kitchen tiles from pacing hither and thither. I’m not sure how long the phone call lasted, but it seemed to go by quick.
After the phone call, I sat and pondered for a spell. Just a spell though, as I had some pc editing to attend to. I pondered on what happens to us as we grow up, as we grow older. When you present your insight as I did during the phone call, how much of what you are saying, what you are feeling, comes from experience, and how much comes from your parents? Over the years, I have caught myself doing things that make me think of my dad, and yes, I have even done some things that remind me of my dear, dear mother. How I react, how I sound, how I handle certain situations, there’s so much to the picture that I can see how so many things blend into one neat little package. Huh? Me? Neat? Let me rephrase that. One big, dusty, frazzled package with a billy goat grin.
I looked up to my father as a young boy, with youthful wonderment and amazement, especially when I thought that perhaps someday I might be as grown up as he was. Now, all of a sudden, I am much older than he was then, and my son is as old as he was. How time can happen on you. My oh my.
We grow up being so many things. We grow up to consist of a combination of this, a pinch of that, a dash of those things over there, and a mixture of a few other things that we probably don’t remember, or don’t care to remember. We are a blend of inspiration, of hope, of the good, and yes, even some of the bad. We take what we want along the way and don’t realize what we have until we see it in our children’s eyes. I am blessed to have a son, and he is also blessed with a son of his own. Down the line we go, and where we stop, it starts all over again.
All of the nurturing, all of the lessons, all of the examples that stack up and build up and get stowed away come bursting out when we least expect them to. For me, it was during that phone call. I could hear the tones of my past as I talked about my son’s future. I remembered the tone of my father’s voice as it shaped me and molded me into my son’s father. All those times as a youngster, I never thought I would see the day when I would be a father, and now, I can listen to my own son be what I never dreamed I would ever be.
The generations have a way of just happening. You don’t see them coming. You don’t expect to be involved. You don’t understand just how fast they can fly by. You just have to stop, and breathe, because, this is it.
I smile when I think where my son Matthew Deon will be in twenty years, where my grandson Jack Matthew will be in fifty, and then, I think of my dad.