Neil and Me

When Your Child is as Big as You

My mom used to say that when your child is as big as you, you have to treat them with respect. What she actually said was that you had to address them using a respectful form of “tu,” which doesn’t make any sense in English, but may work in Hindi or French. It worked poetically well in Malayalam. I was reminded of this maternal pearl of wisdom recently when I was watching a movie with my son.

Le protagoniste du film,,en,qui se sentait comme un sac de boxe humain,,en,se sentait faible et se saouler dans un bar,,en,Et puis il est snobé par un inconnu,,en,et part en marmonnant quelque chose comme,,en,Ai-je un panneau Everlast collé sur mon front,,en,Mon fils,,en,deviner avec précision que je n'aurais pas eu la référence,,en,m'a expliqué qu'Everlast était une marque de boxe,,en,et qu'ils avaient des sacs de boxe portant le nom bien visible sur eux,,en,Il les avait vus dans son gymnase Muay Thai,,en,Je me suis souvenu alors que c'était exactement le genre de friandise que j'aurais aimé partager avec,,en,tout en regardant un film ou un match de tennis ou autre,,en,La roue était bouclée,,en,Presque,,en,presque,,en,parce que je me souvenais aussi d'un moment où les références devenaient trop nombreuses pour être partagées,,en, who felt like a human punching bag, was feeling low and getting drunk in a bar. And then he gets snubbed by a stranger, and walks away muttering something like, “Do I have an Everlast sign pasted on my forehead?”

My son, accurately guessing that I wouldn’t have gotten the reference, explained to me that Everlast was a boxing brand, and that they had punching bags with the name prominently painted on them. He had seen them in his Muay Thai gym. I remembered then that this was exactly the kind of tidbit that I would have loved to share with mon père, while watching a movie or a tennis match or whatever. The wheel had come full circle. Almost.

Je dis “almost” because I also remembered a time when the references would become just too many to share, et les fils deviendraient silencieux,,en,Dans les quelques cinq prochaines années,,en,Je peux imaginer que mon fils trouvera également cela irrésistible de continuer à expliquer chaque petite référence qui passe devant moi,,en,Il tournera aussi de plus en plus silencieux,,en,Tout en redoutant cet âge inévitable du silence,,en,J'apprécie ce moment pour l'instant,,en,quand son répertoire de petites choses intéressantes a dépassé le mien,,en,Et rappelez-vous d'autres choses que j'ai écrites il y a quelque temps,,en,dans un moment de,,en,inspiration mélancolique,,en,Peu savent-ils - tout a été conquis plusieurs fois pendant les étés d’hier avec le même enthousiasme et la même passion,,en. In the next five or so short years, I can imagine that my son will also find it overwhelming to keep explaining every little reference that flies past me. He also will turn more and more silent. While dreading that inevitable age of silence, I enjoy this moment for now, when his repertoire of interesting tidbits has grown beyond mine. And remember some other things that I wrote a while ago, in a moment of melancholy inspiration.

The Sony radio plays on, impervious to these doleful musings, with young happy voices dishing out songs and jokes for the benefit of a new generation of yuppie commuters full of gusto and eagerness to conquer a world. Little do they know — it was all conquered many times over during the summers of yester years with the same gusto and passion. The old vanguards step aside willingly and make room for the children of new summers.

The new generation has different tastes. They hum to different iTunes on their iPods. This beautiful radio receiver, with most of it seventeen odd short wave bands now silent, is probably the last of its kind. The music and jokes of the next generation have changed. Their hair-do and styles have changed. But the new campaigners charge in with the same dreams of glory as the ones before them. Theirs is the same gusto. Same passion.

Commentaires