It’s amazing how much I don’t care about celebrities, yet I can tell you that Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, that Russell Brand is 6′ 1″, that John Mayer is half Jewish, and that Beyonce is from Texas.
I don’t want to know how many girls Ashton Kutcher cheated on Demi Moore with or who Jennifer Aniston is currently dating.
Yet by proximity, I sort of do know these things because I am somehow constantly in the Thirty Mile Zone, exposed to the essence of all this useless knowledge about famous people.
We all know that school teachers are some of the hardest working people in America, yet their earned income doesn’t support this concept. Meanwhile, the sports stars, actors, and artists we worship get paid by the millions.
The irony here is that while our government is ultimately responsible for paying our school teachers so relatively little, we as a society decide that athletes, actors, and musicians are worth the money they earn when we pay to be entertained by them.
I would love to believe I honestly don’t get all caught up in celebrity hype. Yet I think back to a few years ago when I happened to be at Whole Foods while Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman were having lunch there.
Where was I? Along with others who were trying to inconspicuously take a picture of them with their cell phones. But the picture was “for my wife.” She’s a big Country music fan…
That event showed me that I was still willing to contribute to the habit of A) worshipping famous people and B) degrading them to spectacles, rather than just another married couple that happened to be eating lunch that day in an organic grocery store.
I’m not okay with worshipping rich and famous people.
Instead, I want to sincerely honor, both inwardly and outwardly, the people in the world who are great examples to us all. Not the people who have become millionaires by entertaining the world, but instead, the people who best demonstrate what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.
As a dad, I want my son to see that it’s the non-famous people in our lives who are most important.
It’s the people who don’t simply entertain us, but the ones who also motivate us and challenge us to become better human beings. The ones who give us direction. The ones who love us unconditionally. The ones we can never truly impress or disappoint.
Sounds like right now I’m describing the way I feel about my son. I am, actually.
Anywhere we go with our son, my wife and I also take our four year old digital camera. Between the two of us, we always have to be prepared to take a shot of Jack doing something for the first time. Or we have to provide proof of just how cool he looks in that moment.
As I was recently making creepy lizard faces at my son to make him laugh, I shared with my wife the realization that Jack won’t actually remember any of this.He won’t remember me pushing him around in a diaper box. Or my wife pretending to be a chicken. It hit me that all our crazy antics we do to entertain our son end up amusing the two of us just as much as they do him- but only we will actually remember it the next day.
My sister’s memory began when she was one and a half years old (in 1985) and mine began in 1983 (on my 2nd birthday.) Based on what I learned in Childhood Psychology in college, my sister and I are the exception to the rule to have a memory that began “recording” that early. But even when Jack’s long-term memory does kick in, there will only be random memories that stay with him for life.
But I guess that’s the way our entire lives are: We only remember certain memories, frozen in the nostalgic part on our brains, sometimes disguising themselves as dreams from childhood.
If you are the only person to remember an event happening years after it occurs, you hold the exclusive rights to it occurring. In theory, it only happened because you remember it. If you ever forget it, then it’s technically the same as it if it never happened, especially if no one else was there to notice the event happening: Especially ifthere were no photographs or videos taken of the event.
As one of the main photographers and the official journalist (daddy blogger) of Jack’s early years, I am preserving these otherwise forgotten details. These stories won’t just be simply contained in the memories of my wife and I, but they will be waiting for Jack to learn about when he gets older.
In the title I proclaimed that my wife and I are our son’s own paparazzi and TMZ show. But that concept is a universal one; it doesn’t just apply to us because I publicly journal my son’s life in a blog on Parents.com.
In an age where Facebook photo albums have replaced actual photo albums like our parents had to put together for us, chances are if you are tech savvy enough to be reading a parenting blog, you can relate to the allusions to being your own paparazzi and TMZ show for your kids and family.
P.S. This is my 100th post here on The Dadabase! You can start from the beginning or catch up on anything you missed in between: Just click on the archives on the right side of the screen. They go all the way back to when we first found out we were having a baby.