Thursday, July 1, 2010
To My Youngest...
The premise for last evenings piece was the purchase of three 4x4 vehicles off the Bolivian version of “Craig’s List” and then drive them through the rain forest. It sounds easy enough but the comedy of getting them off the barge (yes...I said barge) and onto the riverbank was comical…watching them carve a trail through the jungle was humorous…but the highlight of the show was watching them discuss how to maneuver down a sand dune that was 3000 feet high…the problem is that one of them forgot to put the emergency brake on while searching for a safe route below…as they stand there looking over the edge here comes the vehicle right past them…it rolled over and over for roughly 2000 feet…one of the funniest things I have seen in quite a long time. We laughed hysterically…
Ian’s sense of humor mirrors the attitude and mannerisms of the people in this show and is quite…dare I say…British…but he has always been that way! I think it’s in part because of the “youngest son syndrome” as well as having traveled extensively in Britain since he was a youngster…you can tell he has inherited my “cynicism” for France as well…He has even begged me to sell off Jake’s car and purchase a Mini Cooper as his prime means of transport…and yes…he wants the Union Jack atop the roof as well.
Ian has always been an observant and thoughtful person…as evidenced in the way he is with animals…and folks he is just meeting for the first time. At a recent party Ian was introduced to many friends/neighbors and military personnel…he was able to hold his own not only in the conversation but also the topics selected by the adults; skiing, auto racing, sky diving, military life, lacrosse and adolescent endeavors. He was not out of place at all!
Ian once penned an article for one of his teachers at Holy Cross Academy…it was about what he liked most about his dad (me!)…in it he talked about how it was very important for me to be with my kids…and how I did not necessarily want to be rich…and I did not want to be poor…I just wanted to be in the middle…for in the middle is where you find true happiness. This from a 9 year old boy…I knew he was destined for greatness! I kept that piece and look at it quite often now…and draw strength from it as well.
When I told you about Ian being a thoughtful person I need to illuminate another aspect of his personality…family!
When we ski…no matter where…Gunstock, Canada or West Virginia…or Utah…Ian ALWAYS asks me “do you want me to ski with you, Dad?” … it is a constant between us that transcends time and space…Ian has always been at my side in skiing as well as life…and during some critical times...we were both diagnosed with “exposure to TB” in 1997 and had to medication for 1 year together…as well as all those blood tests…he does not remember it quite as vividly ...but just like the trips to the aforementioned ski locations…I do!
Last season Ian had really gotten into snowboarding…partly because of Jake but more because he wanted to…as many of you know I am not a big fan of “boarding” but I have resolved myself to the fact that they will both go to “dark side” … I could not teach them boarding as I don’t do it…but suffice to say that the skills needed have been honed on the slopes as skiers first…and I am fine with them being dual winter sport fanatics!
That said…and even with a new sport and an older brother calling out to him…Ian still asked me…”do you want me to stay with you Dad?”
No Ian…I will be fine…but thank you…for everything!