August 26th, 2007

new year

Have fun storming the castle

This weekend Number One Son is back from Eau Claire, going to a couple of concerts at Alpine Valley, over near Elkhorn. Friday night he saw Rage Against The Machine, a much sought-after ticket as they seldom play anymore. Saturday morning he called home at 6:30 in the a.m., because his car was stuck in the mud, with a whole lot of others, in the field of mud the whole concert grounds has been reduced to by 45,000 raging fans. (They pulled out the guardrails, and seating, and of course it all needs entirely new sod, but not this weekend -- first, where were the people for the Saturday concert going to park?) Of course Mr S got up and drove the hour or so down there and back again to pick him up, while I tried to get some more sleep.

Then Number One Son drove me around grocery shopping, very newsy although our last visit was just last week getting his furniture settled in his off-campus housing. He has started his new job as a bouncer at a local Chippewa Falls bar, where a number of his rugby friends have traditionally found employment, and he is delighted now to be mellow at such a professional level. And then of course he needed to borrow the car for a few hours, until his roommate from last year showed up, down from Rhinelander, and we left them the house for the evening while we were at American Players Theatre. Today they are off to Alpine Valley again to see the Dave Matthews band second night, and retrieve his car. We found them folding chairs, and sleeping bags. Tomorrow, dude.

At every age my Number One Son attains, I am brought painfully nose to nose with how different his life experience is from mine. Since he was an infant, there has been a constant replay in my memory of where I was at his age, a struggle to keep my own stuff to myself and give to him his own very different life. Last year when he went to college, maybe it was at the back of my mind that this would stop; but now it is his second year and my memories of my own sophomore year are still all too vivid. That was a long year for me, far too crowded with dramatic incident and colorful characters. I moved three times, without a car which is now hard to fathom, and dropped out for a semester. I don't expect that from him, but I worry.

It is only ironically that I occasionally indulge the philosphical position, satirized by M. Voltaire, that in this Best of All Possible Worlds all of my difficulties and sufferings were necessary in the chain of events to bring me to reside in this present garden of peach trees and sorbets. Voltaire put that philosophy in the mouth of the philosopher who rides freely on the labor value of others. My philosophical position now is that in many cases, the suffering is optional; but as the man said, we must cultivate the fields we are given.