It’s those little things in life that make it so grand
By the time I reached the lobby of the movie theater, I could wait no longer. I had to text my son.
These were words he needed to hear.
So I stood there in the middle of the multiplex, pecking away at the keys as I tried to convey my joy, my wife standing off to side assuming this must be urgent.
He would understand, I thought.
He would get what I was feeling, even if it was just a movie about the music of Bruce Springsteen and a young man who wanted to chase a different dream than his father.
Yeah, I related to that, too.
We talked a lot about that when he was growing up
I don’t pretend to have any great insights into being a father — after all, I’ve only done it once — but what I hope for him more than anything else is to have a passion for his work, for his life and the joy that goes with living it well.
I hope he never takes the chore of everyday life for granted. I think that’s the key, but it’s not easy.
So along the way, I introduced him to writers to give him insights.
Movies to show him love.
And music that would lift him, and hopefully help him soar.
I hope he never forgets the three of us ridiculously dancing in the middle of the kitchen as we blasted, “Life Would Suck Without You.”
I’ve been so lucky in my life to have experienced so much of that joy, those little things, and I want that for him as well.
I think about it more often these days.
That scene from a movie where the guy gets the girl.
That ending to the book I will never forget.
Those first notes from a song you know will take you to another place, and always, always give you a smile.
For me, Springsteen has done that; the music lifting me and the words speaking to me.
The movie of a working-class English kid who dreams to be a writer brought it all back to me.
I was smiling. I was happy.
I knew I had gotten away from that in recent months. My wife has been going through a tough time.
The past few phone calls to my son have been from the hospital, where I didn’t have a lot of information, just a lot of concern. That’s been hard on all of us.
But she was with me at the movie, and I believe she is on the mend.
But I worry about my son living alone, too far away from home, and maybe more importantly, whether he is happy.
Maybe that helps explain my reaction to this movie, and why I was smiling in that theater lobby, and why I dabbed away tears during the final credits, because she was there with me.
So while I was bursting to tell him about the movie, and the joy it brought me, I realized I didn’t need to tell him about it at all. He just needed to see it, too.
I introduced my son to my music.
I introduced him to journalism, writing and literature.
And it took.
He got it.
I had a father who never really “got” me, but I think I have a son who does.
So the message was simple.
“Go see ‘Blinded by the Light’ — NOW!!!”
He would know what I was talking about. He would know he would not be disappointed. He would know that it is time to smile again.
That was the more subtle message.
It was time to get back to living for all of us, to dancing in the kitchen and smiling over the simplicity of hearing our favorite song.
His mother was standing there next to me, and things were returning to normal.
Ken Tingley is the editor of the Post-Star of Glens Falls.