Sunday, August 15, 2021

The Boyos

 It's strange to think that when i started this little exercise known as the lounge that the I-mac was just six months old and his little brother just a dream, still two and a half years away from being thrust into the universe... it blows my mind a bit when i think about it, about where i was when this started, where i've been since and where i'm at now... funny how that shit works... 

and so yesterday as i was working one of my gigs and driving through the thick and humid air of an August night, the traffic light, the air blowing into my open car window cool and damp, i was lost in thought about my sons... about where they are at now in their lives, about how fucking brilliant it's been, about the challenges of raising the boyos, about my fuck-ups as a parent, about the shit i just might be doing right and how each day is filled with moments of brilliance and episodes where one or both of them drive me fucking bananas and how even then i still can't seem to be pissed at them for more than a fleeting moment... i'm a pushover, a fucking cream puff when it comes to me boyos... though i do my best to not let them know that and work tirelessly to teach them how to be decent human beings even when the jury on their old man is still out in that department. 

Of course i'm not the only one parenting here and there is a vast difference in how we go about things but we manage to do a decent job of finding common ground when it comes to the boyos... of course that's probably about it and i understand the boyos are front row for a veritable shit-show of a relationship... i also understand and do my best to explain to them in ways as gentle as possible that their parents do not have a healthy or normal relationship but that we try and do our best. One could call it a white lie... or something bigger... the I-mac is old enough to understand and we've had a few conversations about it and i was a bit amazed at how much the kid comprehended. In a way i was glad he was so aware and able to process it while i was also bummed that he had to see it. 

These days there are new challenges as i navigate the moods and madness of a teenage boy. The I-mac has his first real girlfriend and has been feeling himself a bit as they say, pushing the boundaries, growing up. It's the first time the process of the long goodbye has really hit home with his old man and i understand, it's the same thing i did when i was his age it's just now i'm the guy watching it happen instead of the kid doing it. As the I-mac's social calendar fills and he runs the summer streets i miss the kid, miss the conversations and hanging out, it's not that we don't talk because we do but i know that right now his girlfriend and friends are far more important than his old man and that's how it should be. It's times like these when i yearn for Pops, can hear his laugh and see his smile and have a pretty good idea of what he'd say in his relaxed and Zen way.

I also realize that Nick Disaster will be entering this world soon as well but for now he's just a kid... a kid who really wanted to see Space Jam so after his basketball game the other day he and i went to see it. He didn't want to take a friend or his mom, just me and him. As he told the BW "you don't have to go cuz dad really wants to see it with me." And so we went and had a terrific time... and lo and behold if it wasn't a movie about fathers and sons, about letting kids be who they want to be, not that i needed to learn that from a movie because as Pops said to me years ago, it's your life kid and you have to live it and do what you want to do with it. It's the same thing i tell the boyos and sitting there with Disaster munching our popcorn we laughed along with Lebron and Bugs. Disaster is in that strange world of the tween, where he wants to be a teenager yet still has the little kid in him... he's beautiful. 

So imagine my surprise when i was caught by one of those waves i talk about only this time it was not a wave of grief but one of love, the dusk settling into darkness, the air grey and sticky, i was singing a song and thinking about the boyos, about how fast it seemed to go, about watching them grow up and i'll be damned if i wasn't wiping tears out of my eyes, alone in my car and fucking up the words to the song i was caught off guard by that wave, it's hard for me to even explain... but looking at the night clouds, driving these now familiar suburban streets, thinking about all this stuff i was overwhelmed by it all, by the love for my sons, for the wisdom imparted to me by Pops, sitting at the traffic light and talking to the sky i told my father how brilliant it has been raising the boyos and how i understand a lot more how he felt when i was growing up and i could hear him laughing again and saying, "c'mon now kid, you know this is just how shit it works, it's called life..." 

When i think about it now i know the I-mac will be leaving the nest sooner rather than later, his brother too... i realize my existence is closer to the end than the beginning and that's cool... i try not to waste it, i try to live it as an example to the boyos, to enjoy each and every moment even when things might be a bit shit... to show the beauty and brilliance of music and art, of creating things just for the sake of doing and not for any other reason... and when the melancholia sets in and i miss the boyos being around i grin and know that they are doing exactly what they should be doing, running around with friends, having a girlfriend, growing up... and i'm honored that i have a front and center to see it, happy for those times when they sit down next to me and start talking, asking questions, joking because i know the world is going to keep on spinning... and now that song that started all this, it wasn't on the radio... it was just in my head... now back to the show...