When life gets overwhelming, it helps me to slow down, and keep things simple. So I think I’m going to apply that rule to my struggle with coming up with something to write about.
My son wanted to find some youtube videos to send to a friend. He selected Rob Zombie, Dragula, OkGo, Here we go again, a young Beat boxer doing beat boxing and a drum battle between Gene Krup and Buddy Rich. My favorite was OK Go. But my favorite one that we did not use is about people from ages 1-100 hitting a drum.
Why? It’s sweet. It’s simple. And I like drums.
My wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary by going on a very long walk and simply talking. Its something we used to do without consideration when we were dating. But today, it requires scheduling the time and getting a sitter. From the time we leave till we return, it feels like we fill each other in on the details of our lives. I love it.
I love reading with my sons. I usually lay down on the floor with a big fat pillow for two and read whatever books my sons choose. Lately, my youngest son has been asking for “In the Night Kitchen,” by Maurice Sendak.
I enjoy the sections we read out loud together, “Milk, Milk, Milk for the morning cake.” At one point Mickey, the boy in this story is dreaming about swimming in a large bottle of milk. As he does, the dough on his body melts away, leaving a very naked little boy in the milk. At this point, my son just cracks up and shouts, “booty.” It doesn’t matter how many times we read the book, he cracks up every time. I live for these moments.
As I was playing this multiple choice question game with my son, a question came up with one of the possible answers being “soap on a rope.” He asked what that was. I said it was what it sounded like. But as quickly as I opened my mouth, I realized the kids usually use liquid soap.
I wasn’t sure which was stranger to me, liquid soap or the idea of a bar of soap hanging by a rope. I think the idea was so you could hang the soap up after using it.
I’m assuming it was so the 10 cent brick wouldn’t get lost. And then I flashed back to that horrible moment when soap got in your eyes. And God forbid the soap slid off and landed on a dust ball under the radiator. You could end up spending the rest of your shower, cleaning it off.
And remarkably the soap never seemed to go away. As the pieces got smaller and smaller, they just merged with other pieces of soap that eventually balled up into a regular sized multicolored play dough like object that rested on a wet soap dish.
My son’s only exposure to a bar of soap is limited to the picture book about a boy named “David.” He’s a kid that constanly gets into trouble. I can remember reading the book and trying to skip over the section where David gets soap put in his mouth as punishment. But like the soap on the rope, he eventually asked, “dad, why does David have a bar of soap in his mouth?”
I’ll save that one for another blog entry.
While getting breakfast ready, my oldest son and I were talking about his last day of school. I asked if he was doing anything special for it. He didn’t know, but then he glanced at his schedule from the past year. As he did, he started saying, “no more reading, no more math, no more p.e, no more tech time, and so on.” And as he was talking, I could hear Alice Cooper in my head singing, “School’s out for Summer.” But my son doesn’t know that song.
So I wondered if this is how Alice Cooper came up with the words to song. As my son was running down the list and continued to say, “no more…,” I gave an invisible high five to Alice Cooper for getting how it feels to end a school year. Now clearly, Cooper was identifying more with the relief of the drudgery being over than the sadness of ending relationships and positive learning community.
I debated telling my son about the song. I guess I want him to extend his love of school for as long as he can. He’s got time for it to be a grind. He’ll find his cynical voice in time. For now, it’s enough for him to know there is a song out there that uses words similar to the ones he used to capture the end of the year. When I told him, he responded by asking me, “Alice Cooper? Isn’t he the guy who did ‘Feed My Frankenstein’ on the Wayne’s World Cd?”
So much for the age of innocence.
P.S.- Do you know how hard it is to find an interesting interpretation of this song?
More than a year ago, I volunteered my wife and I to coach my sons soccer team. We’d never done it before. We didn’t know the kids, the families, or the rules about getting the best uniforms. So in essence, we were rookies and we had a team with the ugliest uniforms in the league.
But we won, and then won again, and eventually the season came to an end…today. And we didn’t lose a single game. I know you win some and you lose some, but when the kids, families, and ugly uniforms come together with a string of victories, it sure feels good.
So here’s to the champions!
Our lives pretty much revolve around our kids school calendars. At the present time, our life is all about endings.
It’s a weird concept to explain to a kid. You enter school, soccer, lessons, friendships and more in the fall. You transition through fun, frustration, success and failure, and then just when you’re comfortable, it’s time to end. As adults, we know it will all start again. But maybe we’ve forgotten how hard it can be to say good bye.
My youngest son just finished up pre-school and said he’ll miss it. I found myself agreeing it is sad to say goodbye. But I had a harder time explaining how your feelings shift from feeling sad to gradually but surely feeling Ok to eventually even feeling excited about trying something new.
All I know for sure is that even the greatest groups eventually come to an end.