I’ve often lamented that I was born in the wrong generation. Instead of blooming through plumes of hippy-innocense or living fast in greasy overalls, switchblades, drag racing and the King. I got the age of self-importance and egoism. My generation saw the mighty dollar surpass the value of the soft-spoken word. We traded our Cheerios and LEGO’s for caviar-laced eggs with some fancy French nameI could never pronounce just so and a Maserati with a bum wheel. I’m not terribly fond of my generation – or even of myself and my own role within it. At least I wasn’t. Until last night.
Last night I made mac and cheese for Olivia and Lucas as I do every Wednesday when I am on daddy-duty waiting for Jules to get home. We have our routine. I make something, Olivia tells me how it is either the best thing she has ever had, or lately, the worst. She’s five – a brilliant five. A five with a big F. She’s beautiful – a 3 foot something version of her mother. She’s the greatest big sister her little brother Lucas will never understand. He’s too young to see her for more than being the “other” small person in the house, an outlet for his ever-changing moods and whims. He’s brawny, our Bam Bam, but smart too, like a magician smart. Olivia is the sort of smart that defies reality, makes you forget she isn’t all that far out of diapers and makes adults feel somewhat dim. Her bulb is bright and I pray it stays that way. Lucas adores his Big Sister. Our hearts couldn’t adore them any more than we do, but we still try.
I put the mac and cheese on Lucas’s Jake and the Neverland Pirates plate, Olivia’s on her Lightning McQueen. They traded them back and forth for a bit before settling on exactly what I gave them to begin with but I sense they eventually were satisfied with knowing they orchestrated the end. Or they just got hungry. There they sat, quietly chewing away watching the idiot box while I went to clean up and scramble to pick up the house that I should have done hours earlier.
Before I met Julie, before I became a Dad, my life was occupied by Music. It carried me from location to location, literally in fact. Numerous cross-country drives with hundreds of cd’s packed for companionship. The only thing better would they have been 45’s. And so last night I found my way to youtube for some music while cleaning. I listened again to Joe Cocker’s cover of John Sebastian’s “Darling be home soon.” Then I listened again. And again.
In those 4 minutes and 23 seconds I knew that I was born exactly when I was supposed to be. No go listen, be humbled, hug your kids, and maybe even dance with your wife.