Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Continuum of Dad

This past weekend Charlie and I went camping up in the Catskills with some family friends. For my son it was a weekend of first times. First time in a canoe. First time sleeping in a tent. First time climbing over a mountain. For me the time we spent together was one long, joyful echo of a camping trip I took with my dad long ago (minus the rain, gratefully) as well as stories he had told me about a boy scout camping trip he had done with his dad years before that.

In the middle of the first night, Charlie awoke to take a pee and I accompanied him out of the tent with a flashlight. Standing there beside him, I couldn't help but think about the true meaning of leaving one's mark on this world, of legacy, of immortality. Like the constellations in the night sky that night, the continuum of time was so incredibly evident to me. I pondered the beginning of the latest Star Trek movie that had James T. Kirk being born at the moment of his father's passing or of a baby Superman being jettisoned from Krypton as his parents perish. I considered how, no matter all the achievements one can do in this world - no matter how much money, power, or monuments a person accrues to be remembered, there is nothing that leaves ones mark or (dare I say) touches immortality as our children, who will (G-d willing) continue beyond our time here.

Like you, I occasionally ponder the meaning of life. I observe how, no matter the success one achieves in life, if a dad (and this doesn't exclude moms, of course) isn't connected with his children - if he doesn't take the time to pass on his values, his dreams, his love and his time, then in some larger way this sense of meaning, of continuum is greatly lessened.

Driving away from our campsite, Charlie chimed in from the backseat, "Daddy, I really love being with you." Thanks, Charlie. Thanks for being my continuum.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Wow, what a beautiful thing for your son to say.

I too found camping with my son for the first time a momentous experience. Perhaps there's something about being out under stars that brings out the primeval in us and a feeling for all that has gone before and will come after.

There's nothing in life more important than our children and I think an underlying ever-present awareness of the continuum is a part of that.