Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fathers And Sons

Enjoying the all too brief respite between basketball and baseball seasons, dinner time, specifically, the time during which I make dinner, has become my favorite time of day. We (my kids and I) use this time to catch up, discuss homework, and talk...

Those of you who have been to my home know that my apartment has an open floor other kitchen, dining room, and living room are in one biggish room...Anyway...from the kitchen island (I love kitchen much potential....) is where I preside, hold forth, and sometimes hide from my kids. During the last few weeks I have gotten into the habit of putting out carrots and celery along with some cheese for my kids to snack on while I make dinner. Much to my surprise, putting out food is a sure fire way to attract teen aged boys.

While he sometimes falls into a pattern of conversing in monosyllabic utterances, my son and I have almost always been able to talk to each other. While making dinner we watch The Daily Show, speculate about the Red Sox' prospects, or chit chat. Last night we talked about Kashmir (the region fought over by India and Pakistan...not the song by Led Zeppelin)...and the origins of World War One.

Our conversation over the years has evolved...I remember him peppering me with questions while I did chores around the house...and I am glad that we are beyond the "why is Obi-Wan's light sabre blue" level of conversation (although a little boy's facination with Star Wars is something I miss...). But I think the important thing is that regardless of the topic that we keep talking as for some reason the relationship between oldest sons and their fathers can be trying and difficult. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a father and son being separated by tens of thousands of miles while sitting in the same room.

They do not hand out manuals when you become a parent...but we can learn from both the good and bad examples we have encountered along the way. Its important to me that I share my interests with my kids and that I at least know where their interests are. While nature may dictate that there be a bond between a parent and child...its incumbent upon the parent to foster and nuture that bond...and to put out food. Maybe tonight we will talk about Kashmir by Led Zeppelin.

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