Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

June 12, 2013

ROOT: The second reboot

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I have already started living vicariously through my grandson and he is only six months old. We were watching some tours of Disneyworld on the Travel Channel and it reminded me that I promised my family that we would start going to Disneyworld every year once the baby gets old enough to enjoy it. I suggested that he was old enough now, but was told that four years old is probably a more reasonable timeframe.

We all go through at least two reboots in our life and we need to take full advantage of them. For some people, rebooting means trying to get things right the second and third time around. For those of us who never grew up, it means two more chances to do all of that cool stuff all over again.

I grew up in the 1970s and had, what I considered to be, the happiest of childhoods. I was a child of pop culture and I drank it up like it was water. I was glued to my television constantly, I had all of the home computer and video game systems when they first came out, I went to all of the trendy places and I even had a pair of Jordache jeans. Don’t judge me unless you think that you looked better in your Jordache jeans . . . which you didn’t.

I actually should say that my mom made sure that I had all of that stuff. I had the Evel Knievel toys everyone wanted and I was always ready to race Big Wheels in the street and risk certain injury. I even had my own fistfight with the pavement, which I lost. That was the first, and only, time I ever tried riding my bike with no hands.

So I went through college, made the mistakes that young people make and then finally married the right girl. How did I know that my wife is the right girl? My mother told me. When it comes to making the right decisions in life, it pays to be a mama’s boy. It took me a few years and a lot of dumb mistakes to figure that out, but I eventually got it right.

With the wife comes the child and reliving all of that stuff all over again. For those of us that don’t want to grow up, having kids is great. The boy and I used to share video game systems and movies. He got the full show every Christmas morning and he was always treated to the birthdays that he asked for. It was awesome.

Then the boy got older and there was a lull for a few years. Suddenly, the boy entered the marriage phase and the grandchild followed next. He’s awesome. But the best part is that I get to do the 1970s stuff all over again. We get to do the theme parks, Christmas mornings and Looney Tunes cartoons for the next several years. The best part is that the boy is right there with me because he gets it. He knows this is his first reboot and he is going to make the most of it.

We never really know how long we are going to be here. We could leave this planet at any moment. The main thing is to always make sure that you are making the most of your opportunities. I made very sure to make the most of my first reboot, and now that reboot is going to help me make the most of my second reboot. It gets complicated. Read that a few times and you will get it.

When you look into the eyes of a baby, you see everything that you remember as a child. You see the anticipation you felt when you were younger and you remember that feeling of magic when you experienced something new. As you look at that little face, it suddenly becomes extremely important to make sure that his memories are just as vivid and awesome as yours. You owe that to him. It would almost seem unfair to not give him the same chance at the awesome childhood I had and his father had.

So my second reboot has begun and I cannot wait. My body is a lot more broken down than it was when we were raising the boy and I can’t get around like I used to, but that isn’t going to stop me. I used to worry that I would not have anything to leave behind for the boy when I was gone. Now I am starting to realize that one of the greatest gifts his mother and I could have given him is something he will pass on to his son. That is the beauty of the reboot.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and proud grandfather. His column appears every Wednesday. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident and proud grandfather. His column appears every Wednesday. He can be reached at georgeroot@verizon.net.