Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Time to Remember

I don’t remember when I learned to tie a tie.

I remember when I was growing up that I used clip-on ties for a while. However, at some point in my youth, my dad gave me a lesson that included half-Windsor, full Windsor, and several words that I don’t remember. I eventually decided on one method for tying ties and learned to do it quickly. It’s second nature now.

So what does that have to do with anything?

Last week, my older son’s middle school band performed at Midfest at the University of Georgia. It’s a prestigious honor to be invited. Schools send in their audition tapes a year in advance and only a select few bands are invited. In order to do make it, you need to produce several years of excellent students in addition to a winning tape.

We knew it was going to a special event, based on the prestige and the selection process the band had to go through just to get invited.

My mother and her husband even came down from North Carolina to watch it. My mother pronounced it worth it, the best school band concert she’d ever seen (i.e. better than mine when I was that age). I agree. The concert was absolutely phenomenal and I don’t just mean because I’m a parent or because the acoustics in a university concert hall exceed those in middle school cafeteria.

It was a special night and one as a parent I’ll never forget.

So what does a band concert have to do with a tie?

The band upgraded their outfits for the concert. For the boys, this included ties.

Last week, I taught my teenager how to tie a tie, passing down another father-to-son tradition. It felt like I’d reached another milestone in his growing up, though one I’d never considered before.

My wife and I will never forget the concert. We know our son won’t either.

But I’ll never forget teaching him to tie a tie.

I hope my son remembers it, too.

When he passes it down to his son.


Keli Gwyn said...

I'm glad the concert was so enjoyable and that you shared the special father-son tradition of teaching him to tie a tie.

Lydia Kang said...

I love those little things that end up bringing so many memories back. A simple act of tying a tie will bring him back to you, always.

Walt Mussell said...

@Keli - The concert was definitely good. They are better than a lot of the high school bands I remember watching while growing up.

@Lydia - The amazing thing is I never thought of a tie as a milestone until it actually happened.