I’m green with envy of those who have things they pass down from one generation to the next. You know. Those items that are priceless to the person who owns them whether they are indeed priceless to others.
I also know envy is one of the seven deadly sins. But I just can’t help myself. I’d like to have something, just one thing, I could give my son to show him my love, affection and prove his responsibility.
Alas, I’m simply at a loss, which is partly due to my dads not giving me anything I’d define as priceless – to me anyway.
I use dads in the correct tense because, as I’ve used this space in the past to lay out my paternal situation, I have three dads. I should probably be grateful each is still living and healthy, though at least two would argue that second adjective. And believe me, I am blessed.
In fact, the inspiration for this column doesn’t come from my dads or my son. It actually derives from my wife and her recent trip to visit her father. Needless to say, I’ve written about both of them in the past, too. Maybe I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.
But there’s a lot to say about inspiration, and this subject has me inspired at this moment in time, so forgive me if I act upon it.
Anyway, I remained in Lebanon – no, there’s no wild bachelor story this time as I threw myself into my work in their absence – while the rest of the family returned to my wife’s birthplace in Alabama. It was a rather quick trip for everyone, but it afforded a chance for them to reconnect with my wife’s sister and her family, who were also visiting from Texas.
Upon their return, I noticed my oldest daughter, Bailey, sporting a small, black case.
As an aside, I highly doubt I will ever prove to my wife, Mary, I actually pay attention during our conversations, but I’ll give it yet another shot here. Before they left, Mary told me Bailey was interested in joining the band when she gets to middle school in the fall.
Now all of that explains the black case. Acting as if I didn’t know the contents by connecting the dots from Mary’s prior revelation, I asked her about what was inside.
Her eyes gleamed with pride as she opened it to reveal a worn, dusty clarinet.
Now is probably the appropriate time to share that before Mary became the head majorette of her high school’s marching band – a fact I will forever love – she was an actual instrument-playing member of that same band. And her instrument of choice? You guessed it.
So it needs some work to get it back into tune-carrying shape, but that clarinet is just another example of what I’ve been trying to relate. It’s one of those mementos passed down from one generation to the next that means so much.
In retrospect, I think the last grand item of substance I gave my son was an iPad Touch. There’s not a lot of history wrapped up in that small cornucopia of circuits.
But you know what? There’s still time. Maybe there is, or will be, that perfect something I can present to him on his graduation day from high school, or, dare I say, college or when he has his first child – when he’s 32 or so.
Maybe all I can give him right now is my love, affection and attention. He’s really a good boy, and I’m certainly proud of him.
So hopefully all I can afford to give right now is good enough. Right now, it’s all I can give.
Jared Felkins is The Democrat’s director of content. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.