Sunday, March 21, 2010

A day with my kids: This is it.

My kids and I spent an enjoyable day together yesterday. It began with my older daughter and I coaching my younger daughter's indoor soccer team, the Blue Fire. During the second half of a hotly-contested match, Lauryn wound up and fired off a shot from half court, about two feet off the ground, directly toward the goal.

It scorched the back of the net. She had just scored her first goal of her soccer career, from about twenty yards out.

Since I'm the coach, I have to demonstrate a little composure out there. You know, can't play favorites, and I suppose that's why, after Lauryn's goal, I had to jump around and scream like I was on Family Feud every time someone on our team scored. Got to cover my tracks.

After the game, flush with fatherly pride, I took my daughters out to dinner. My wife had retreated to her classroom to catch up on some work, and I tend to spoil the kids, and myself, in these situations. The restaurant just happened to be conveniently located a stone's throw from a place which offers a dessert called "The Blizzard," so we celebrated America's many unhealthy food choices by swinging through the drive-through for a little helping of mud pie heaven.

The plan at this point was to return home, switch on the TV, and tune into some trashy reality show, like We Live in a Cake or Furry Millionaires on Four Legs or I Sleep on Pizza Boxes. Unfortunately, none of the evening's offerings met our high standards, so we decided to rent This Is It, Michael Jackson's swan song documentary of his last rehearsals before the shows that weren't to be.

I loved this movie. I know, like everyone else, about his strange personality, his checkered history, his odd behavior. But as a performer, as a musician, no one tops him. His charisma seeped right through the screen. Michael is probably the single musical artist about whom my daughters and I can agree. He hadn't really released any hit material for the past twenty years, yet my kids seemed to know so many of his songs; we all sang along, surprised that each knew the words.

He sang, danced and conveyed himself with such vigor, it was hard to fathom that these were his final days. Lauryn reminded me that he had a serious drug problem and that his doctor had been charged with "Manslaughtering."

I recommend this movie to anyone who craves nostalgia. I recommend spending a day with your kids to anyone period.

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