"It's a different generation." That statement ranks in the top three on the list of my most disliked statements ever. And when it is used to casually explain away the "occassional" unacceptable behavior of this different generation, it is unchallenged in its rise to number one.
I am grateful that I have a wife who unites with me in a commitment to raise boys according to what is morally right and wrong, and yes, I know, this generation has come to inject a lot of wiggle room into morality, but in our house, at least, we understand there really isn't any.
That isn't to say, though, that even we won't make some concessions in the name of "it's a different generation. For example:
I had a picture in my mind of the first big sporting event I would attend with the boys. Notre Dame versus someone. The Reds in the World Series, perhaps. Maybe a train ride up north to DC to catch a Redskins game (high caliber play was clearly not a requirement).
So when Elliott came home asking to attend an event that didn't even exist in "my generation", at least not to my recollection, I was less than enthused. I mean, he could have at least picked an event that kept score. And if not, one that didn't require ear plugs, and three days in a hyperbaric chamber afterwards to cleanse the engine exhaust from our systems. When the pre-game meal at McDonalds ends up being the highlight of the evening, for me anyways, then failing to supersize that number 4 meal just gets added to the list of ways the evening could have been vastly improved.
But it wasn't about me. And for the half hour that Elliott could stand the loud noise and exhuberance of the crowd, a very, oh, how do we say it, country type crowd, he probably considered it life-changing. I know it was pajamas changing. He insisted on wearing his new monster truck t-shirt to bed. There are currently signs to suggest he may walk around the rest of his life with the world class athlete best known as "Grave Digger" marching across his chest. And I assure you, Grave Digger's following, to the aforementioned crowd, is every bit as passionate as Kobe Bryant's or Tom Brady's.
So anyhow, the Sportscenter highlight I had envisioned was this:
The highlight I actually got - and I guess it is only fair to point out it is a video shot courtesy of this generation's cell phone:
Depite the gap in what was expected and what came to be, little compares to seeing the joy of your child - even if briefly.