Thursday, 6 November 2014

Thanks, Tom

I have absurd things I worry about. Will I ever find an old copy of the Good Times America coloring book (best coloring book ever from my childhood, published by Troubador Press also the makers of Fat Cat, which will show you the brilliance of their artists)? Will my son suffer some sort of loss from not having Saturday morning cartoons? Does Netflix make It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown less special? Will companies continue to publish road atlases even though we all have Garmins? Do people know what I'm talking about when I say "Mutual of Omaha"?

I'm sure my parents worried about me not knowing the glories of their formative decades, but I honestly don't remember them talking about it much except for a few movies forced on me and some spectacular big collared shirts I liked to see my dad wear.

I worry about those things. I worry about how our family does not know what it's like to drop everything for Simon and Simon on Thursdays since Oscar doesn't even know TV. I worry about things being "special" since there's so little we have to wait for. I worry about making my mom's braided Easter bread and creating traditions and being expats in a humid climate where the dough doesn't rise right.

And this week, Tom Magliozzi died. And, well, I've been grieving in ways that aren't particularly helpful. I have worried for a long time that my son doesn't know Hee Haw or the Bob Hope Christmas program or how to rake the perfect pile of fall leaves. Since I was in high school, I listened to Tom and Ray. And my son won't.  So, I'm hyperbolically thinking on what I want this family to carry with them. Because when I say "our fair city", they will not know what I'm talking about, and that feels like a loss.

But, when I say, "naughty naughty naughty!" They know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Ms. Pearly from the immersion local school that was such a good (horrific) idea when Oscar was two and scarred him for life, as he was the only English speaker and had to sit in rows and flip through books of Mandarin characters in silence when he couldn't even put on his own shoes and would rather be licking the windows. They know what I mean when I holler, "Come on home!" They know it's time to put on Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and have a family sing-a-long because home for us truly is "wherever I'm with you."  They know what I mean when I say we're flying out of Terminal 2. Oscar quickly stuffs socks in his backpack because the slide at the play area there is righteous when you have slippy feet, and just like the Great Pumpkin--we really do wait all year for it.

Oscar will not know Tom. Or maybe we'll make him listen to archives. But when I'm laughing with Oscar and Patrick over Terminal 2 anticipation and the totalitarian Chinese preschool, I'm creating our own sense of normal, routine, and tradition.

But gosh, Tom. Thanks. Thanks for hours of smiling in the car. I can't wait to see what Oscar worries over for his kiddos:

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