30.5.08

Teach Your Children...















Journal Entry, Montreal.
May 30th, 2008.

Been spending a lot of time on the road. I thought those days were over - but apparently not.

At 30 I loved the road; now at 50 it bores and irritates me.

I sleep badly, eat badly and feel every pothole; actual and metaphoric. I also realize that no matter how good the per diem, it's never enough. The bills always come due.

When my kids were young they were little road-warriors themselves. My wife and I had created a popular children's adventure-travel show, Travels with Mom; and they were its stars.

By the time my son Brodie was six he'd swung through the canopy of a Central American rain forest ... gone alligator hunting in a Louisiana swamp ... chowed down on a foot-long hot dog in Central Park ... and mushed a dog team in the Yukon.

He was having a great time. Who wouldn't ?

We made some serious cash on that series but in retrospect I think the kids (Bro in particular) footed the bill. I know the network didn't.

Stressed out parents, fawning publicists, endless early mornings (to get the cheapest flights possible), long days in the production van, dinner at 9pm, city to city, room to room, show to show.

He says that he barely remembers it. But I sure do ...

We'd just landed in Denver ... I was connecting home to edit while Bro and the rest of the family were continuing on for a shoot in Hawaii. As I took my bag out of the overhead compartment and turned to say goodbye a look of horror crossed his face which broke my heart. Absolutely.

I thought of this little scene last week when I was out of town and two things happened almost simultaneously: the CSN and Y song "Teach Your Children" came on the radio and a text message popped up from Brodie (now 16).

You who are on the road, must have a code that you can live by.

Text: (bro) Hey dad...had to take a cab home last night..can you put some money in my account ?

Text: (me) But I just gave you some money !! What the hell happened ?

And so become yourself, because the past is just a goodbye.

The exchange went from bad to worse...leaving bruises on both of us.

Text: (bro) I was just asking you to be nice and if it's that big of a deal then I don't want your fucking money.

...and feed them on your dreams...

I see Bro for about a week a month now. We communicate mostly by text messages. Text messages !

So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

In the hotel room that night I sat looking out over Montreal thinking about that sweet little six year old boy who clutched my hand so tightly that his fingers turned white crying "Dad, let's go home. Dad, please !!"

The choices we make, eh ?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ow.

Ow ow ow.

Read that the day after I got home @ 9:00, too late to see my own 8-yr-old son to bed.

We'd just spent the previous day dealing with bullies.

Thanks for that. I'm gonna polish up my resume and try to find a job near home.

jimhenshaw said...

Just give him the money. If he's your kid, he'll be good for it.

wcdixon said...

fuuuuuuuuuuccckkkk

ouch.