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Kiss Your Past Goodbye

“I been so lost I must confess

I had my share of loneliness

But yeah, it’s hard to keep a good man down

The loves you lost were all in vain

The past lives on inside your brain

I don’t think you need those memories

Hangin’ around, yeah


Kiss your past goodbye

You gotta let it fly Kiss your past goodbye, yeah

Yeah yeah”- Aerosmith, Kiss Your Past Goodbye, 1997

The beauty of having children 15 months apart is that if you do something for one kid like a big graduation, you do it for the younger child about a year later.

When my son, Jason graduated last year, it brought up a lot of bad memories of high school and my father walking out of my high graduation because I had an 82.5 average and the classmate who we carpooled with in day school had an 85 average. If you check the article “Full Circle” via Google, you will see how hard I tried to get Jason a graduation worth remembering including a visit to the Mets TV booth.

Since Meredith was a year later in graduating high school, the memories of years past, got into my head again.

So for Meredith, I drove to and from Boston so Meredith could see her favorite actor, Mads Mikkelsen. Well, it beats two years ago when she wanted me to fly her to Stuttgart, Germany to meet him at a comic con. Even Mads said that Stuttgart isn’t as nice as Boston. It’s a long schlep, even if I love Boston far more than DC (sorry for my many friends who live in the DC area).

Meredith forewent her senior trip to Great Adventure so we could buy lots of Le Creuset cookware at a sale in Virginia (that’s another whole story). She didn’t complain and I thought seeing her favorite actor was enough of a compensatory act. Graduating high school and getting into SUNY Albany was pretty cool too. Plus she saw Marisa Tomei and Vincent D’Onofrio, which was probably a bigger deal to me.

In the end, having her have so much joy and proclaim it was the greatest day of her life, was worth the 7 hours in the car, and the amount of money to have her see those actors and actresses. In the end, you go all out for your children and want them to have more than you did. If you don’t believe that, maybe there is something wrong with you. Just because maybe I suffered, doesn’t mean they have to suffer. You have to break the cycle and pay it forward.

I remember when I was a kid and I think my birthday was on a Sunday. There was a card show on Lefferts Boulevard in Queens, near the Aqueduct Race Track. There were some Hall of Fame

players signing, like Warren Spahn. I asked my parents if they could take me and they said no. I don’t think I ever asked again about going to any kind of athlete signing. Anything that didn’t interest them was stupid dumb or a waste of time/money. I remember when my paternal grandfather died and his funeral wasn’t for a few days because of the holiday of Shavuot. I was planning on seeing Star Trek III or Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom. My mother said we couldn’t go to the movies because it wouldn’t look right. I understood. Instead, she thought shopping at the Century 21 Department Store was less offensive (it wasn’t, she just wanted to shop there instead of going to the movies).

I love movies like everyone else, but I’m not the biggest fan of comic cons because people get dressed up and some think showers are optional. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s not dumb or stupid. If this interests my daughter, then I’m interested in my kid’s interests.

I don’t take compliments well and I’m not great at compliments. Probably because I didn’t get enough compliments as a kid and every comment I got, had some backhanded insult attached to it. I’m not the greatest dad or father of the year, I make mistakes like everyone else, unlike my dad, I’ll admit when I make one and try to learn from it.

Time is finite. I won’t be here forever, I hope to have at least 50 more years, but tomorrow is promised to no one. At least my kids have plenty of wonderful memories with Susan and me. I know I have way more wonderful memories as a father than I had as a child. I was the father I wanted. It’s all about paying it forward. Whatever bad memories I had with my parents are intertwined with happy memories with my kids. Again, it’s all about paying it forward and breaking the cycle.

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