I don't think he ever understood the skateboarding, the aggressive drums and guitars, the comic books, or the foul language, but I also know he let me be what I wanted, within gentle parameters. It's what makes me stand aside scratching my head as I watch my son chart his own way.
We are exactly alike yet so different. It's precisely why when we did something together, father and son, it was always rare, bitter and sweet, and indelible in my mind. I remember him taking me to see an aviation movie when I was 8. I remember him grimacing when I confided in him that I thought I had a girlfriend at the age of 13 (I was wrong, but he let me figure it out on my own). I remember him taking me to see the Blue Angels. I remember him sitting through some ridiculous Japanese superhero stageshow that came into town. I remember going with him to the Academy of Sciences Museum at Golden Gate Park while my mom sat in a medical seminar. I remember getting a Tad's Steak with him in Midtown, because it was what he did when he was still flying.
And I remember going to the Hawaii Raceway Park in 1971 in a rented Chevy Camaro to do some laps. I had a pink plastic F-104 Starfighter in the pocket of the shorts he and mom brought back from Amsterdam. I was wearing Chuck Taylor knock-offs from Manila. See?
|Incidentally, I think he's none too please with how close I am to the dirt. Sorry, Dad. Love you.|