Once Upon A Time…

Once upon a time, I used to get cigarettes for .65 a pack and $6.50 a carton.  Now that same $6.50 may not even get me ONE pack

…I used to have no conveniences of a cell phone, computer, and web sites that constantly kept me apprised of my friends’ doings and them of mine.  Now, I have no privacy, even if I wanted it without becoming a hermit

…people used to by records and CDs.  Now, people buy downloads and don’t give a damn about audio quality.

…I could afford to go to a Yankee game, and maybe even take someone else.  Hell, Tess and I used to buy tickets on the same day, get decent seats, and have a hell of a good time relatively inexpensively.  Now, I can’t even GET seats, let alone afford to take my kids.

…I could set foot in NYC without getting panicked.  Now, that is not the case; so that pretty much eliminates any concerts, or Yankee games.

…I used to fly on a plane with no fear.  Today, the only way I am going near a plane is if I’m being evacuated.

…my 12 year old daughter was my baby girl.  She still is, but like the post I did the other day, she is very much making me feel like an adult today.  She is going to her first school dance tonight.  And thus begins my illustrious career in being the Girlfriend’s Father From Hell!

Oh sure, they call it a “dance”; they’ll be playing music, there will be a slushy machine there for the kids too.  My daughter will not be attending with a boy (at least one that I know of, anyway), but I’m certain she has a crush or two going on. They’ll all break up into their cliques and probably wind up texting each other on their cell phones rather than talk to one another.  That’s the problem with this generation: they have TOO MUCH technology; they don’t truly understand certain qualities of humanity, like actual verbal interaction between people.  I just don’t get this whole text message thing.  I mean, it’s one thing to send a quick blurb that you’re coming home or going out or something pithy that need not turn into a conversation.  These kids manage to write entire paragraphs on the new cell phones with the QWERTY keyboards that pop out of the side.  In my day (I cannot believe I just wrote that), IF you were lucky you got a phone extension in your room…at 16.  Now, my 12 year old blissfully chats and texts her way through life.

I just got back from being outside with my youngest daughter, who’s eight.  She was kicking a soccer ball around the yard, and she’s quite good at it too.  She’s the athletic one in the family; she was the only girl in her class last year to get the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.  She takes gymnastics, has the shape and form of a gymnast, and she’s very good at that as well.  It’s definitely the double recessive genes on my side of the family; both my father and brother were athletic, not I.  I am the only Irishman on the entire planet who cannot play basketball; I’m lucky to be typing right now considering how many jammed fingers I have from attempting to catch a pass.  I was quite good at soccer though, that being the only sport I truly enjoyed playing as well as watching.  I grew up during that first “great soccer awakening” of the 70’s, when Pele played for the NY Cosmos and the sport started to take hold in this country.  It’s too bad most Americans don’t appreciate a game that the rest of the world is absolutely bonkers over.

While I was watching my daughter play, I decided that I need to check-in a bit and just enjoy my moments with the kids now, before it’s too late and they’re off to University.  Next thing you know, I’ll be walking them down the aisle and giving them away to (hopefully) a better man than I.  I cannot believe how fast the past 12 years of fatherhood have gone, but at least I’m sober now for them and for myself to remember these moments, so that one day I can look back on an old photo album with them.  I’ll be sitting there with them and my grandchildren, and then they will say, “Pops, tell us a story about mommy”.  And I’ll begin it with a familiar refrain…

Once Upon A Time…

“Disneyland will never be completed.  It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Walt Disney