Wednesday, January 09, 2013

9. Made with Love #JanBlogaDay

Today's topic is "Made with Love" - that makes me think of three things - my children, arts & crafts and "Made in the U.S.A."

My children (like me, like us all) are a work-in-progress.  But I love them.  It's hard to put into words how or why, but they are both awesome little people.  They try my patience regularly and they physically wound me more than I'd like, but I wouldn't trade them for the world.

One of my Christmas traditions is to watch The Family Man starring Nicholas Cage, Téa Leoni, Don Cheadle and the incomparable Jeremy Pivens.  It's a modern twist on It's a Wonderful Life but with a bittersweet ending that makes me sad.  He's shown a glimpse of an alternative life, had he not taken an internship in Europe.
 Instead of the single with the penthouse in New York and the Ferrari and the President of a prestigious M&A firm, he's 13-years into a marriage, has two children, a dying minivan, works at his father-in-law's retail tire sales shop -- and lives in Jersey.   He wrestles with it at first and his daughter recognizes he's not himself and decides he's an alien.  Near the end, he's embraced this alternate reality so much that his daughter welcomes him back and tells him about the alien.  He's very torn up when the "glimpse" comes to an end and he's catapulted back into his New York life and realizes how empty he now feels.  In the final twist, he races to convince Leoni's character not to move to Europe.

But it always made me sad because the glimpse ends and the children disappear.  Lori thinks that if you followed the movie out after that point that the children come to exist.  I can accept that.

But it also makes me think of our two children and how they are exactly who they are, and how everything we pour into them on a daily basis impacts who they are and who they will be.  And so that is how my children are made with love.

I am not an arts & crafts kinda guy.  I think I could become decent at framing and I have been complimented for my drywall work by someone who does drywall for a living, but clay, paintbrushes, popcycle sticks - not so much.  I see people pour their hearts into something, whether it's really artsy, or whether it's creative in another way, like a cool web design or a novel, and I appreciate the craftsmanship, the time that must have been invested.  I think I don't have stuff like that out of a combination of lack of vision/desire to do that and lack of confidence in my ability.

And lastly, "Made in the U.S.A." - there's probably plenty of junk created here, but some marketer somewhere did a great job of making that phrase stick in my mind and mean a good thing.  We seem to have failed as a nation to continue to emphasize that as a marketing effort to promote the country, but I was surprised to see it pop up in my mind when I thought about that phrase.   In a similar vein, I'm pretty sure there is or was a marketing campaign to get people to refer to California as "The Great State of California."  I tried to point this out back when Dino Rossi was running a website and asking for ideas on how to make Washington better, but the other participants in the forum had practical but stupid ideas and didn't understand the point of mine.  In the end, it's all about marketing but so many people don't get that.

Image is from Amazon.

Day 9 of January Blog a Day.

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