This isn’t a blog on Huey Lewis & The News’ awful album from ’86 or a revisit to the critique of it, as offered by Christian Bale’s character from the 1999 movie American Psycho. My son Noah turns four today. Four! It’s unbelievable that we’ve made it this far.
But I wonder how he’ll see me once he’s old enough to understand Boy At The Window. Assuming that I’ll find a publisher and everything goes well, that is. How will Noah see his dad when he’s nine or thirteen or seventeen? Will he see a pathetic wimp of a person? Will he want to emulate me? Will he spend his time brooding over the pressure he may feel to measure up or to live down what he inherits from me?
Truth is, I don’t have a clue as to how Noah will see me by the time he’s old enough to understand the life that I lived twenty or twenty-five years ago. Heck, by the time Noah’s nine, much of what Boy At The Window’s about would be more than thirty years in the past. U2’s The Joshua Tree and Michael Jackson’s Thriller would be twenty-five and thirty years old by the time Noah can understand why his father would want him to understand the meaning of redemption or how to overcome heartbreak. Even the music I listen to now–from Anthony Hamilton to Nickelback–would be at least a decade old by the time he’s ready to load up his own (wireless) MP3 player.
I hope that me and my wife give Noah the gift of balance, of not just having a dream and pursuing it but also the ability to take time to smell the flowers, to enjoy the process. To feel joy and not have the sense that his world will come crashing down if enjoys himself too much. To pursue his education to the best of his ability but also to know that his best is good enough, for us and for this world. To be a well-rounded person who cares about others but isn’t gullible enough to be pressured by his peers into saying or doing something he should. To see others as they are and to imagine them as they could be without overindulging his reality or his dreams.
I want so much for Noah to have experiences and to enjoy his growing-up years in ways that I couldn’t or couldn’t imagine. I just hope he doesn’t think less of me because of the person I used to be, the enigmatic loner whose world was crashing around me. It may be too much too soon for me to be thinking about. Especially since Noah’s life has been pretty good so far. And after all, Noah’s only four.