Generations Gap

The original recording of the song “White Christmas,” by Bing Crosby, was released in 1942 and is the best selling song of all time, having sold more than 50 million copies. My grandparents like the old singers, like Crosby and Sinatra. I like them too, but my favorites are bands like the Beatles. Though my grandparents weren’t that old when the rock n roll era started, they never got into it, and they don’t understand it.

“All young people care about these days is rock n roll,” said my grandpa. “They don’t care about the important things, like fixing the economy.”

My favorite version of White Christmas is the one done by the Drifters, released way back in 1954. While I like the original Bing Crosby version, I find the Drifter’s version to be more…I don’t know… catchy, upbeat, fun. It was, after all, used in the films Home Alone, and The Santa Clause. (Nice childhood memories.) But whenever my grandpa hears it, he says things like, “What is this? Who’s singing? The Drifters? They sure are drifting all right…drifting all over the place. Can’t sing like Bing Crosby, that’s for sure. They butchered a classic.”

It’s funny how this song, to me, is super old. I mean, 1954. Old. That was before my mom was born. Although I like oldies, even 1954 is old for me. While it may be old, I like it a lot. And yet, to my grandparents, this type of music is new, rambunctious, and unruly.  What a generations gap.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. (I have a lot of favorites.) It’s a song that we hear all the time, and everyone knows it, but how often do we really stop and appreciate a song like this?

Written in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, the song tells a story of unlikely protagonists “telling” each other a piece of important news: first the night wind to the little lamb, the little lamb to the shepherd boy, the shepherd boy to the mighty king, and finally, the king to the people everywhere.

Perhaps my favorite part of the song is the second to last line of the refrain. It occurs 4 times throughout the song, each time using different lyrics,“…with a tail as big as a kite,” “…with a voice as big as the sea,” ect. (The first time it occurs in the video I posted is at 0:30 – 0:34 if you’re having trouble finding it.) That last chord in that progression has a subliminally powerful affect on the song, in my opinion. I don’t know what it is about that part. Every time I hear it, I get chills. I just find it amazingly beautiful and mysterious.

Strong imagery is used throughout the song, “a star dancing in the night,” “a song high above the trees.” The song also uses some clever wordplay: the third verse suggests what we can bring to “the child” and the fourth verse flips it around, stating what the child will give to us.

On a final note, I find the king’s order in the fourth verse interesting. Regardless of what religion you are, or even if you’re Atheist, if everyone everywhere prayed for peace (Atheists can pretend to pray or something), we really would have peace. There can’t be fighting if everyone is too busy praying.

So do you hear what I hear?

2nd Grade Love Advice

There’s a boy in my group who we’ll call “Adam.” He’s a nice kid. Talks too much during study hall, and doesn’t always listen, so I end up putting him in time-out quite a bit, but overall he’s still a good kid.

Earlier in the school year some of the other kids started saying things like, “Adam likes Yuna!”

One day Adam and Yuna were walking next to each other. Yuna said something to him. I don’t remember what she said, but it wasn’t flattering.

Adam fired back. “Oh yeah?” he said. “I don’t like you.”

Some time later, as we were entering study hall, Yuna came to me and said, “Don’t make me sit next to Adam! He was digging his nose and playing with his boogers!”

Later, on the playground, I pulled Adam aside. I didn’t really know how to have this conversation, but I couldn’t just stand back and watch him suffer without at least trying to help him. “Adam,” I said. “Just to let you know…girls don’t like it when boys…um…play with their boogers.”

“I didn’t!” he said.

“Okay. I’m just…letting you know.”

More recently Yuna again said to me, “I don’t want to sit next to Adam!” She motioned with her hands that he’s the “nose-digger.”

“Yuna,” I said. “Stop being picky about where you sit. Besides I don’t think Adam does that anymore. ”

Play Time

One day my bosses made a rule that we aren’t allowed to play with the kids. The main reason behind this is it might distract us from watching them and making sure they’re safe.  So if they see us playing with them, they’ll fine us $5.

Later that day one of the kids asked if I would play with them. I explained that I can’t, and that I’ll be fined $5 if I do.

“Mr. Robert,” said Yuna. “Give me your wallet. I’m going to pay them 1000 dollars. Then you can play with us a lot!”

“Yay!” said the other kids.

True Love

One of the lady’s from church asked me to help with her elderly mother who had been hurt in a fall. Her mom had been staying in a rehabilitation center to recover, and now that her rehab was finished, she and all her belongings needed to be taken back to her care home.

We got to the rehab center, and I met her mom. She’s 85 years old, but still has a youthful look to her.

“We’re taking you back to see dad today,” said the lady to her mom.

“What?” asked the older lady. She’s a bit hard of hearing. When you get to be her age, I guess you can’t blame her.

“We’re taking you back to the care center,” she said, a little louder. “You’re going to see dad.”

“Oh!” said the elderly woman. “I haven’t seen him in so long. I don’t even remember what he looks like…” she said, bittersweetly.

I learned how she had gotten hurt: her husband had fallen, and she was trying to help him up. Her husband is a lot taller than her, so while trying to help him, she herself fell. I guess the husband’s fall wasn’t too bad, but her fall had been fairly serious.

“How long has it been (since you’ve seen him)?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know, so long…” said the woman.

“It’s been about a month, right mom?” asked her daughter. “You got here (to the rehab center) about a month ago, right?”

“It’s only been a month?” I thought. From the way she was talking, it sounded as if she hadn’t seen her husband in a very long time. I thought it must have been at least 2 or 3 months, if not more. A month isn’t very long, but I guess it feels like a lot longer to her.

“Are you excited to see him?” I asked.

“No,” she said. Then she laughed. “Of course I’m excited. I feel so nervous. That feeling inside…it never goes away.”

They’ve been married for 58 years, and she still gets butterflies when she sees him.

We gathered her things and headed over to the care home. There we found her 89 year old husband, a tall, skinny Asian man, sitting at a table playing a puzzle, his back turned towards the hall. The attendants tried to tell him that his wife would be there shortly, but he’s hard of hearing, and didn’t understand.

As she was pushed in on her wheelchair, she saw her husband from behind. She tried to get his attention, but he didn’t hear her. As she was wheeled behind him, she playfully hit his back with her elbow. He looked up from his puzzle, trying to figure out who had touched him. But by the time he turned around she was already gone because she was moving on her chair, so he still didn’t see her. They were just missing each other left and right.

Finally she was wheeled around to the other side of the table, and they saw each other face to face for the first time in “forever” (one month). He chuckled in surprise. She smiled at him, quietly said hi, then looked down, as if she were just a shy young girl.

They’re 85 and 89 years old respectively, but they act as if they’re still a young couple. 58 years of seeing each other every day, getting to know each other inside and out, seeing each others good sides and bad sides, and still their eyes light up when they see each other. They’ve raised 3 kids and grown old together, and still they’re excited about each other as if there’s no one else in the world they’d rather be around. Their hearing, eyesight, and other senses may be going, but their love appears strong, so much so that though she’s just a little old Asian lady, she tried to help her husband when he fell – even though he’s way bigger than her – and she herself fell and got seriously injured as a result. Yet she doesn’t seem to regret it. (They’re literally just falling all over each other. Haha.)

I’ve got to believe that a major factor as to how people can be happily married for that long is because they’re both very good at forgiving and forgetting. (Although old age might be helping them in the latter department. Haha. Just a joke.) Relationships in life are between two very imperfect people. We all have faults and make mistakes that can unintentionally offend, cause harm, or rub people the wrong way. I think so often we get caught up in little, petty things that we lose track of the things that are really important in life.

 We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck . . . But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness. –Ellen Goodman

Above all love each other deeply, for love covers over a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8