(Toledo, OH) My wife has been busy creating scrapbooks for our children. The project began with books for our recent high school graduates, and has expanded into scanning old pictures and family documents for posterity.
I came across this picture today, and was transported back in time to a period when life was much more simple and with what seemed to be limitless possibilities. While enjoying the nostalgic journey, I was also overcome with a sense of grieving for a past to which I can never return.
These are our first two children, and they were about 3 and 1-1/2 in this photo.
I know that the human memory is selective in what it retains, and I have to remind myself that things were never been perfect in the past. Still, there was a sense of innocence and idealism in that period of our lives that has diminished in the ensuing fifteen years. This would be the period of time I would "do over" were I to be granted such an impossible opportunity.
I would be a better father to my young children, and spend every last minute making up for all the time that I spent pouring my soul into a business that ultimately failed.
I am wiser in this phase of my life, but I do mourn the loss of that youthful faith in accomplishing the impossible. These days I am more concerned with saving money for retirement, finishing my doctorate, and securing a tenure-track position at a university where I can spend the next thirty years.
As I write this, though, the young man in the photo - who is now almost 16 - has been practicing electric guitar for over an hour, shaking the walls of his room with a rendition of Nirvana's "Come As You Are."
He believes that he has the talent to be successful in music, and who am I to question that? I, too, once believed I had the chops to become a rock star.
He is now a better guitarist than me, and he has the advantage of the indomitable spirit of youth on his side.
Son, follow your dreams, and pour everything you have into making your dreams become reality. Never let anyone - not even me - discourage you from pursuing what you love.