On October 1, 2014 I was sitting at a Starbucks in India, when my good friend, Bill, shared something profound. Well, let me clarify. I wasn’t in India. I was in downtown San Diego at the corner of Hawthorne and India. But Bill did share something profound.
By way of background, Bill and I have a long history of playing iPhone games. Upon besting the other’s high score we text screen shots as proof. Call it what you want. Essentially we’re 2 pathetic middle-aged men attempting to compete without physically injuring ourselves (as we’ve both done more than once).
Our latest obsession is 2048. It’s been a top game since it’s introduction in March. Simply put, the object is to slide numeric tiles around a 4X4 grid, pairing up numbers, doubling in size each time a match is found, until no more moves are possible. The object is to pair two 1024 tiles, yielding a single 2048 tile.
This past October my wife and I took our boys to Disneyland. One afternoon as I returned from the Thunder Mountain Railroad Fastpass station, I scurried across the moat, over the drawbridge and through the gates of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. I was en route to It’s a Small World to rejoin my family.
My body tensed as I collided with the wall of humanity inside Fantasyland. I sidestepped princesses, tuned out screaming children, and scanned the queue for Peter Pan’s Flight. Shocked at the depth of the line, I skirted an oblivious stroller-pushing mom and shimmied past a dad corralling his kids.
Glancing at the camera-toting parents chasing their kids around King Arthur Carousel it struck me that the word “Fantasyland” is a misnomer.
This past week my wife had spinal fusion surgery. Most doctors consider this “major surgery.” As such, I experienced a wide range of emotions including fear, doubt, concern, worry, relief, joy, and numerous things in between. Although a man, I’m reasonably in touch with my emotions. With some degree of clarity I can both identify and articulate how I’m feeling. But after this week, I’m starting to doubt my emotional literacy.
I try to stay relevant to my kids. Candidly, I sometimes wonder if I should give up. Maybe it’s best to simply be branded out of touch or irrelevant. But something in me wants to make the effort.
I listen to their music, watch their shows, and interact with their friends (usually at the dinner table or “dance parties” we have while driving). I’ve even taken up posting, texting, tweeting, and pinning. When in Rome!
This week, I resorted to eavesdropping. I know, in the era of WikiLeaks and NSA scandals, spying on my kids is lame. But I couldn’t resist. As I was chauffeuring a carload of kids to the water park, I heard my niece and her friend discussing their fan base. The numbers were staggering – 40,000 each.