When the kids were younger, it was all about the milestones – smiling, crawling, walking, talking, preschool. Those first couple of steps they take on their own will always be my all time favorite. This past Saturday I got to play part in another milestone.
Kayce and I got treated to a Cubs game. Fantastic seats and an even better game (Cubs won 4-1). If you have been to a Cubs game, you know it’s a mass exodus to get out of the stadium. Making our way out on the concourse, I reached back to hold Kayce’s hand – he pulled away. For the last ten years I have held my kids hands. Crowds, parking lots, airports, it’s basically muscle memory at this point.
I glanced back at him, started to shoot a look of sadness and disappointment. He might have seen it. Upon that glance, I realized quickly his motives were not driven by attitude or embarrassment. This was a milestone. He did not have to say it verbally, but his action sold me. Dad, I got this. I can keep up with you, and if we get separated, I will be ok. Trust me.
My first born has taken another important step towards independence. Which is what these milestones have been all along, right?
I’ve got a handful of posts rumbling around in my brain. Going to post them in reverse chronological order.
This past weekend, the Mrs. and I got back from a short getaway trip to Galena, IL. Beautiful mid-sized town with rolling hills and a historic foundation. We shopped the main street dragstrip. Mostly buying stuff we didn’t need, but would enjoy nevertheless. Part of those purchases were some designer soaps. Modestly priced. Great smell. Cool packaging. You know the type.
When we got home from the trip, Dawn had to immediately scatter off to work. So, I found myself back to reality in quick fashion. 4 kids (thankfully) pining for Dad’s attention after a short break. Unpacking. A mountain of housework which I have grossly been putting off. In the midst of my reality check, Conor started to inquire about the soaps. “What is this?”. “Smells good. Looks cool. Can I open it?”. I was not rude, but I quickly brushed him off:
- Why would he care about soaps?
- Pay more attention to the fun gift we brought back for you.
- Dad’s busy and has stuff to do that is more important.
Those types of thoughts.
And he moved on. Didn’t push it or seem to affect him much. For me though, it’s a different story. Not until later did I realize what I had done. Completely shunned and disregarded his curiosity for something he wanted to know more about. Something stupid and small, and would have taken me an extra minute or two to crack open and talk about with him. Reward his curiosity.
The last thing in the world I want is for my kids to stop questioning. Stop wondering what’s behind the curtain. It’s important to me and to them. Sometimes I forget that, but I’m thankful for reminders like this. Spurred by just a couple of bars a soap.
I remember taking this photo. It was nearly 9 years ago. Kayce was only a handful of weeks old. The Bears were getting set to take on the Colts in Super Bowl XLI.
Up until a few months ago, the amount of football this kid watched after this day was very minimal. It never kept his attention. Save for the occasional Bulls or Blackhawks game, most sports viewing did not spark legitimate interest. Maybe he tried to appease me, but that was the extent.
Something changed though. It was around August or September. Maybe it was chemical, I don’t know. Just as the Cubs started to surge, so did Kayce’s interest in watching baseball. As the playoff race heated up, he was smitten. Consuming all data about standings, statistics, players, teams, everything and anything. Selfishly, I was giddy. I had someone to talk sports with. “Is Fowler batting 1st tonight, Dad?”. “What happens if the Cubs & Pirates finish with the same record?”. I was witnessing something very profound and genuine. It’s hard to quantify. It’s the affection and concern for something outside of oneself. To recognize the outside world and take real interest in something it has to offer. Be it sport, art, music, politics, food, whatever. Kayce found it.
IT snowballed. I thought things had reached a fever pitch when The Cubs exited the postseason. Foolish me. Football took over with a vengeance. More particularly, the Denver Broncos. Maybe you have heard of their backup QB, Brock Osweiler, he’s Kayce’s favorite player. Don’t ask me why. He has become quite synonymous with the Broncos around his friends and school. Santa even questioned why he had such an affinity for a team nearly a thousand miles away. “Because my Dad was born in Denver”. I swear I didn’t put him up to that.
So with Super Bowl 50 happening this weekend, 3 of the Grimm boys will be running around happily oblivious to the game. But you know just where Kayce will be.
The day after seeing The Force Awakens, a co-worker asked me to rate it on a scale of 1-10. An impossible task I told him. How do you quantify restoring credibility in the greatest movie franchise of all time! Like so many, I grew up on steady diet of Star Wars. It defined my childhood long into my teenage years and beyond. It’s something I hold very near and dear to my heart. After the great prequel letdown, my guard was up.
Episode VII was incredible. It managed to expand on a universe built up over 30+ years and at the same time opened up many new roads for exploration. Much like A New Hope once did for one generation, The Force Awakens accomplishes for another. The truth is, I could go on gushing and breaking down this movie for days. I honestly could.
I will keep it to one point. Something that hit me even harder the second time through. The chosen heroes are not your standard fair. The heroine is just that. A strong, young, smart, self-reliant, female. Her companion a hero who exemplifies courage, bravery, wit, and will. This is the biggest movie franchise of all time. They did not need to put a young girl and a minority in the driver seat to take this franchise to the next generation. They would have sold the tickets regardless, but they took a chance. Flipped the script and NAILED IT. From where I sit, this is a bold and beautiful accomplishment. My world is still muddied with hatred and discrimination in nearly every corner. But for my children, the young impressionable minds. Growing up and worshipping heroes like this, maybe, just maybe we can start to flip the script on humanity.