My Best CommuniCreations.

Posted by admin on September 8, 2011 in Family |
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A lot of people think I’m a pretty creative guy, and looking at some of the things I’ve done over the years, I guess I can finally own that. I mean, how many people have created a tank out of a 1962 Ford Galaxie or convinced an employer that they should put on a lavish original theatrical production for employees at the holiday party? Or designed a 40-foot space shuttle for a trade show?

If my life had taken me in another direction, I would have been an Imagineer at Disney or built special effects stuff for George Lucas. But back then, I didn’t have the confidence I do now. While I could be pretty persuasive with my big ideas, I never thought at the time I could really pull them all off. My fertile mind often wrote checks my skill set had trouble cashing. If my bosses had realized how close some of my big ideas came to becoming legendary disasters, they would have blown a gasket.

I am often asked what my favorite innovations were. What was the thing that I am most proud of that I had a hand in creating.

I never really had a good answer, until a week or so ago. I was sitting with my son in his room. I saw that he was experimenting with some things, including my electric guitar. I told him that if he ever wanted to know how to do something, pull me aside from my own delusional world and teach. We can create stuff together.

It was then that he asked me, “what is the coolest thing you ever created, dad?” I didn’t even have to think about it. I said, “My best CommuniCreations were you and your sister. By far my best work and by far the thing I am proudest to have had a hand in creating.”

It was a bit of a moment for the both of us. I still get a little teary thinking about it. I have never thought of myself as a great dad. I don’t think I’ve always been there for my kids… it’s the one thing I regret in life.

And yet, both of my children have managed to carry a lot of me with them, whether I was there or not.

Even though we’re apart, you could pick my kids out of a lineup of a hundred other kids if asked which ones were mine. If you also talked to them, you could pick them out of a lineup of thousands of kids, particularly Parker, who has my observational skills, ability to make a play on words and whose sense of humor is as keen as mine. Though we aren’t together all the time physically, we share a bond that transcends distance. It’s kind of cool.

My daughter, for her part, is much older than Parker, just turning 30. She’s married now and has a career and a husband. So we’re not as close as we once were. I miss that sometimes, but that is what happens as children grow up, leave the nest and find a life of their own. Their parents are always there for them and they know that, but the day to day interaction is more of a rarity. Life just gets in the way for the both of you.

Parker, however, at the tender age of 13, is still close to his dad. We still have our Man Talks about life, where all subjects are open and the talk is straight, no crap. Truth only, no fabrication or lying. We’ve had these talks since Parker was five. We started them during Stay Up Late Fridays, when his mother wasn’t home. We’d turn up the sound on the movies we watched, eat junk food and talk about whatever came to mind. When he was five the questions were fairly easy. I’m just glad he didn’t ask whether Santa was real or not during a Man Talk, as I would have had to level with him about it because of the rules.

Increasingly, the talk is turning to girls, or should I say, young women. I have started to give him the 411 on the subject and I tell him of my own broken hearts back when I was his age and how you just keep moving on, hoping the next one is the happily ever after. I even told him how I was betrothed to Ann Greer when I was born, and how one of the cheerleaders in high school called me at home one day to ask me to the prom – it was a prank. And how I wrote this wonderful love letter to a girl in 8th grade shop class who then read it out loud to the entire class. Thank God I didn’t sign my name to it, but the purple pen I had written it with and which was to serve as her clue in knowing who wrote it, quickly found its way into the wood chip bin.

Looking back, I wonder why I just didn’t become a priest or turn homosexual. I was such a dweeb with girls. Perhaps I still am but as I say, I’m blissfully delusional.

I could cop out and say that my children are my best creations because they are part of me, that they now carry my DNA (for better or worse) and are part of me genetically.

But that’s not the real reason I think they are my best work. You see, everything else I’ve created in my life has a finishing point. You run out of time, money, resources. It’s done, whether you’re ready to let it be or not.

My children, however, are never finished. The work is never done. Though my ability to form and shape them becomes less and less influential every year, they have taken on the task themselves. I have provided the tools (as has their mother), but they continue to use them to create an amazing person on this planet, as unique as a snowflake, never on this earth before and never again. They have improved on my work in ways I never dreamed possible and I look forward to every day on earth because I get to enjoy my very best creations – my children.

Out on the Treasure Coast, a bit wistful, and more than a little bit sappy today,

— Robb

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