His paternal grandfather came in to meet him and in the room were 3 of the 4 remaining men carrying our family name. He must have sensed it because he was full of smiles, pride, intrigue and occasionally, embarrassment. Seems that the poor kid doesn't have my dad and my, uh,
Since Ethan is the last of the proverbial Mohican's, this was a special time to go over our previous lineage, stored ever so reverently in the attic, and also gawk over the future of our family. Plus my dad changed his first diaper in over 40 years.
I realize in many circles, that a male participant providing a family name is an antiquated notion. But as far as bloodlines go, Ethan is the current end of the line, in name, blood, etc. Zilch. Kaput. Nada. He is it. No pressure son.
There have been some statesmen in our family that we learned more about. Such as:
- A relative that allegedly invented the forklift...then sold the idea for $500.
- A relative that was jettisoned into space when the WWI Observation balloon he was in came loose from its moorings.
- A former Attorney General of the United States.
- A relative that was the last survivor in her Scottish Clan after a English sneak attack massacre. She saved herself, her Clan name (and her cows). And my family thereby staved off an early extinction. Whew.
Having my Dad here also allowed for some debunking of family stories. Like, are you sure we are not related to Raquel Welch? And this scar came from where again? And please tell me that is not genetic!
Tonya's family is equally rich in history, though it would take considerably longer to go through all the photos and stories since pro-creating was apparently a sport to these folks. Tonya has 69 first cousins and well, if all the many layers of 1st, 2nd and 3rd cousins got together, they could probably overthrow our government. They are from 'up nawth' so perhaps all that cold weather forced them indoors and they hadn't heard of Parcheesi?
Speaking of board games, the first board game was believed to be a festival of fun called Senet and was in use as far back as 3500 BC. If you won a game of Senet, it was believed that you were under the protection of the gods. Today, if you win a board game, you have to buy the beer. Now, where is the evidence that we have advanced as a civilization again?
Board games of old typically involved a player's use of strategy or of racing. Think Monopoly, or chess, or even Operation. Most board games have evolved into an online or game console version; therefore, it can rightly be said that there are few original ideas left.
But I digress....
I got to see first hand a forward and a backward view of my family. Something unavailable to me until becoming a bio-Dad. With equal parts trepidation, regret, anticipation and excitement...I was confronted with my inescapable past and my predictable future.
The following piece of fatherly tidings didn't mean near as much when I was 20 years old, but age, perspective, a son and a few starts and stops in between helped bring it into focus:
Did you receive (or dispense) any especially sage advice from your parents (or to your kids?) that is share-worthy?