Whiskey has a friend called “Dr Brains”, and Dr. Brains and his wife are both pediatricians. His specialty is Pediatric Neurology at a very good hospital, his Dr Wife deals with kids that might die if you feed them peanuts etc. He’s probably one of the last doctors as a parent you should hope to ever need. He deals with kids with ultra rare, usually debilitating, and often life shortening brain problems etc; that, and head injuries.
One day we were watching a football game together in a bar when a disabled person rolled in on one of those crazy almost Stephen Hawking grade wheelchairs. Dr Brains walked over gave the guy what passed for a high five in that universe and exchanged pleasantries. They were both Raiders fans. After he got back to the bar stool next to me he took a sip of his drink looked a little far away and said, “it’s so strange and rare to see them that old.” I let that sink in a minute.
About a month later our kids were over at their house playing with their kids, two little girls with enough self-confidence to make Bette Midler look like a shrinking violet. They opened some Christmas presents that my mother in law had sent along with my boys. Inside the packages were Barbie and Ken doctor dolls from the early 80’s. Mom in law discovered Ebay recently.
The girls descended on the packages like pre-tween hyenas and tore them apart, violently ripped Ken and Barbie from the cardboard caskets they had been entombed in since Reagan was president and began playing. I was a little shocked, I’m not big into collecting stuff, but I know a thirty year old toy in it’s original packaging that’s never been opened is probably a collectible that should continue to spend it’s life on a very high shelf. Meanwhile one of the girls was headed for Barbie with some scissors and no beauty school diploma.
Dr. Brain’s wife saw the look on my face and realized that I was a little disturbed by such flagrant disregard for old plastic in a cardboard box. She looked at me and said “If you saw what we see everyday you would just get over it and let them play with anything.”
She’s right, and George Carlin was right, stuff/shit is just that, stuff and shit. Sometimes you can lose some focus on what really matters. I’m slowly getting over my youngest son destroying the mid range cones on a set of speakers you would have to be an audio engineer to appreciate.
Getting over things being temporary is important for your personal emotional growth as a parent. Your kids will help you with this process. Our father brought up the time I plugged my bass guitar into his nice stereo and cooked it, and then in the same breath mentioned that he and my uncles destroyed our grandfather’s game ball from his college football days. So what goes around comes around, and I’m not even going to get into what Uncle Smokey did with a few of the family cars before he even had a license.
So there you have it, in the grand scheme of things your precious crap doesn’t matter as much as your children. You can’t take it with you, and when the robots take over they will not care about your baseball cards. “Even the Mona Lisa’s falling apart” Tyler Durden.
After having written this my kids still will never play with my Lemmy autographed Motorhead guitar. At least not while I’m home. Because I know how that works.