Saturday, January 31, 2009

Something My Father Never Gave Me

Growing up my father never much played with us.  I figure he had a bunch of us so he wouldn't have to.  My brothers and sisters and I played the typical sports as kids.  We were fairly athletic, above average or better at whatever we did, but none of us ever achieved any exceptional success (yet, that is).  When pushed or properly motivated we did pretty well, but nurturing wasn't a strong point of my parents so we pretty much acted like any normal kid, did just enough to get by--no great conflicts to overcome, no family footsteps to follow, just keep keeping on.  That is why it absolutely confused me when my father, and mother for that matter, started to reveal their excitement towards the Baltimore Ravens.  Of all things.  My father doesn't even know how to throw a football.  I've seen him try.  In fact that is the one memory I have of him playing any sort of sports with us, his awkward, how to throw a football like a girl lesson he gave me and my brother when we were kids.  Jeez.  I hope he redeems himself somehow in that department before he dies because I would rather unburn that image from my memory.  Anyway, so my dad is a Balto Ravens fan.  Big deal.  But I figured out why it bothers me.  You see, when we were growing up we were never fans of the Baltimore Colts.  We weren't even fans of the Baltimore Orioles, even though all of our friends were.  We were displaced from San Francisco and we held a soft spot in our hearts for the SF teams, though it is my Papa who can claim responsibility for that.  I can picture him now, sitting in his red leather chair, listening to the ballgame on his transistor radio, talking to no one, but with only the emotion that a die hard fan could understand.  He was a fan.  He made us fans.  We had something in common.  I'll be a SF Giants fan until I die thanks to him.  So back to my father.  Turns out he is a Ravens fan because my mom is friends with prominent and wealthy Baltimorian who has season skybox tix to the Ravens.  Several times she's given my parents her passes so they could see the Ravens play.  So in her generosity, my parents are Ravens fans.  She gave that to them.  I'm glad they lost.
Anyway, this realization made me think of what am I giving to my children--the intangibles.  I suppose the question could be posed, if I died, what would my kids remember of me?  My elder daughter would probably remember me as a soccer player since I play fairly often.  My younger daughter would probably remember me as a handyman since I work on the house frequently.  My boys wouldn't remember anything because they are too young, but if they did they might remember that I played with hotwheels and Thomas trains with them for hours on end.  We travel as a family a lot and experience lots of interesting places together, but those are more personal things to them.  I the department of who I am, though it is probably thin since I'm often busy working on the computer or simply driving them here and there.  I guess it really does come down to action means everything...not an understatement.  It's the next logical state after empiricism.  You can't experience intentions or thoughts or emotions, only actions.  Tomorrow will be a day to play.

1 comment:

Older Posts