Sunday, June 17, 2018

Greatest Hits

If you are a parent, there are plenty of times at which you shudder at the idea of being quoted by your children. Five year olds playing The Fart Game on a crowded elevator need to be reminded that this is funny only when it's just you and daddy trapped inside. Getting off a floor early just so that you can explain to your offspring that not everyone plays that particular game is the price you pay for teaching it to them in the first place.
To my son's everlasting credit, he did not curse in front of his parents until he was almost through high school. Not that he was unable to, he reassured us, "I went to public school in Oakland." There wasn't much he didn't hear or repeat on occasion. That occasion just never occurred while mom and dad were in the room. Which didn't keep my from sharing my own bawdy sense of humor, a gift from my father before me, with my son and his friends.
Yes, I was "that guy."
And now that I am the father of an adult, I have absolutely no leg upon which I can stand when it comes to working blue. Or belching. Or taking more than the prescribed four years to graduate from an institution of higher learning. And because we sent him to college he is very good at citing his references. This means that, at times, he is quoting me and stretching the legacy of his grandfather who taught me everything I know. Much to the dismay of my mother.
And so, when I hear familiar bits coming from my son's mouth, I can't help but feel a certain pride. This can run headlong into the shock and dismay that I should probably be experiencing when my little boy starts in on something that rings a little off-color. And a little familiar. This does stir my wife's ire on occasion, since she rightfully suggests that he certainly knows better, not that he is always up to the task of showing that.
I do remember my mother's concern that I would be out "somewhere nice" and I wouldn't know how to act. While I have drawn scowls from patrons at Denny's and been admonished by the parking tram host at Disneyland to "take it down a notch," I have yet to be forcibly removed or even officially asked to leave anyplace "nice." At the time of this writing, neither has my son.
Which makes me even more proud.

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