We’ve been listening to this soundtrack in our house a lot. My daughter and I are both pretty fixated on this show (I mean, in case this blog didn’t already give you that impression), and my wife likes it a lot, too, so it plays throughout the house as background in the evenings even as we’re in our own zones.
The other night, when “Tightrope” came on, I ducked into the room where my daughter was at the time and said, “This song always reminds me of your mom and me.”
“Why? You never did anything crazy, like buy an old building with wax figures of Marie Antoinette and giraffes,” she said.
April and I dated all the way through college, and for the first 11 years of our relationship, she saw me for who I was. Every semester, I started dreaming about what I was going to take the following semester. I changed majors enough that it was easier, going through the course catalog, to point to the (non-STEM) majors I hadn’t considered than to list all the ones I had. When graduation approached, I juggled ideas for graduate school ranging from religion to public administration to political science to law to business to what-else-is-out-there. I wanted to do all the things.
I got a professional degree for a vocation (ministry) that I knew I did not want to pursue. While there, I talked my way into interning with the (then-World Series) Atlanta Braves’ chaplain, even though he had never had an intern. When I left school, it was to go into sports, where my career path was:
- unpaid intern for Minor League Baseball’s AA Southern League
- intern for NCAA Division III (non-scholarship) athletic program
- director of media relations for a startup women’s professional basketball league
- sports information director for NCAA Division II all-women’s athletic program
- (accidentally become head of public relations for that same school)
- sleep on my sister’s floor, two flights away, while telemarketing for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
- dream of being the general manager of a Minor League Baseball Class A Florida State League team and run it like a circus
When our daughter started to develop a personality, one of the things that popped up quickly was that she was a dreamer. April would look at me in those times when she set outlandish, slightly off-kilter goals (like founding “Dog Cirque du Soleil”) and say, “She is definitely your kid.” But, more seriously, April would say how glad she was that our daughter inherited my head in the stars rather than her feet so firmly planted on the ground.
While April would be the first to say that she is not a dreamer, she would also confirm that she knew who she was marrying and signed on whole-heartedly for the adventure. Even though my career path got a little more conventional, life with me still brings its twists and turns and off-kilter dreams, and she has continued to gladly dance on the tightrope with me.