At some point, your kids stop being little kids and become different kids. At some point, you stopped being a little kid and became a different kid. The things that were so dear to you just fade away. My kids used to play all day on this swing-set. Now it sits behind our garage to make room for the trampoline, which will make room someday for more overgrown grass. I don't like it at all...this kinetic transition from the beauty of childhood to the beauty of being an adult.
Me and Andy used to make these carnival rides in my back yard out of the swing-set and the "Old Blue Elephant" slide. We would charge people because we were opportunists, but we also profoundly loved laughter. We wanted to create something that made other kids laugh. At the time, neither of us were laughing much.
I write a lot about the passing of time. I've written several short stories about the experience of Earth without people, after everyone is dead. The topic is interesting to me because we have all felt the feeling of taking things for granted. "You don't know what you've got til it's gone," is a central theme of every tragedy. I think this fascination of mine has to do with the transition of time and the speed in which it goes. It's too fast.
When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to be in fifth grade so I could be a safety. When I was in seventh grade, I couldn't wait to be in high school. When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to get my driver's license. When I became an adult, I couldn't wait to get it all back.
It's hard to grow up. Things get better and worse. I've got a wonderful wife and beautiful children, but lost much of my childhood and adult life to death. You succeed, but regress. Life is cruel, but life is beautiful.
Every moment I get to spend with my family is perfect. Watching my kids grow is both the most rewarding and the hardest thing to watch. Sometimes I look at them and the love I feel actually hurts me. I don't want them to hurt so much. Then something breaks them down and I mourn with them because I don't want them to hurt so much. The world is full of hurting so much.
The world is also full of some of the most beautiful people and things ever imagined. There are people that feed people for no reason. People that abandon rules to stand up for what is right. People who fight for those that can't or won't fight for themselves. People that give without expectation of receiving. These people are the hope of the world. A hope I want to be a part of.
So as I watch my kids abandon the swing-set for bigger things, I'll take hope that Laura and I have done a good job, and that our children will see the hurt in the world and will desire to become the answer.
Thanks for reading...Z