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20 January 2008

Yo Daddio!

Ethan got his groove on this weekend.

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, sophomoric refined and sophisticated sense of humor yet. Of course no one else does either, you poor humorless souls.

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:

"Improve the Breed"
- Mike's Dad

Did you receive (or dispense) any especially sage advice from your parents (or to your kids?) that is share-worthy?


Deb in OPKS said...

Ah, my husband didn't succeed in continuing the family name and his brother had to adopt to succeed. His dad came from a family of 15! (Two moms) From my FIL set one brother had a girl, one was gay and the rest were girls. Yep, the buck stops here.

No words of wisdom I can think of.

Laurie said...

I'm the only one in Leo's family that can produce children to carry on the family name, luckily for us I had 2 boys, but the Lozano name is via adoption. Leo's dad, Leo Sr. was adopted by the Lozano family when he was young. Leo's dad's birth name is Sanchez. When they named my Leo, they wanted to name him after his dad, but did not want him to have the Sanchez name, they didnt want his name to be Leopold Sanchez Lozano Jr, so they named him Leopold S. Lozano Jr. Yes, you read that correctly, Leo's middle name is S.
So my boys will carry on a name inherited via adoption, not by birth.

No words of wisdom, but maybe next time your dad is in town I can come over and make a really nice 'Three generation' portrait of the three of you. Wouldn't that be something special for all of you to have?
I'd be delighted to do this for you.

Michael M. said...

15 people? Wow Deb...I bet that is quite a carnival during the holidays. At least the 'pressure' is off your hubby now, right? And of course the blood can potentially continue via all those girls.

Michael M. said...

Laurie: Leo told me some of that story, but I didn't know the rest....interesting! Thanks for the scoop....Now he can make up something fun for his middle initial "S", right. How about "Sir Gallahad"? :)

Tismee2 said...

My hubby's family name is Francis. Forever the firstborn male was named either Francis or Francis John until we messed it all up!

At the time we were adamant that we were not going to be forced into a corner to name our darling baby boy Francis. We were young, it was the 1990's and we could drink a lot more than now!

We went for Jordan Michael. Several years later the regret began to creep in but as we had decided one heir was sufficient we resigned ourselves to being 'the party poopers'.

Until 9 years later a little 'surprise' popped out. Even then we decided that there were enough Francises around the family so named him Alexander Francis. We got the name in eventually but now wish we hadn't been so stubborn and done what generations before us had done.

Quotes? "If you're going to do a job, do it properly". My dad!

Michael M. said...

Sounds like everybody got what they wanted afterall Abigail. The name continues but you can still avoid the mad rush when you call out "Francis!" at a family reunion. :) Francis is such a noble name too.

We got our fair share of winks, nudges, and hints also to name Ethan after someone in the family. There wasn't much history of that in my family so I didn't feel like starting one. Nonetheless, Ethan's middle name is my first name (Michael) but only because we thought it fit, not because it was familial.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

That's right - no good ideas left for games. They should have stopped trying after Monopoly, Parcheesi, Backgammon, and Uno. Oh, and Yahtzee, of course.

Michael M. said...

Right on! Monopoly rocks. Like life...the person with the most toys wins. :)