By: Bryan Snyder
Assistant Athletic Director/Head Volleyball Coach
I have often heard the saying, “the only sure things in life are death and taxes”, and for most people that is true. However, some folks find ways around taxes, so really death, or more accurately, the passing of time, is the only truly constant certainty that we can count on. Time is an amazing concept if you really think about it – it moves forward at the same rate forever, regardless of all other factors. Some people would claim that time is quantitative since it can be measured, while others would claim it is more of a concept since it has no tangible physical qualities. I believe both to be true, and am truly amazed at the power of time.
I have thought about time quite a bit recently as I just celebrated a birthday a few weeks ago, and I am seeing my children grow up at what seems to be an alarmingly fast rate. I have thought quite a bit about when I was a child and have had some great memories revived in my mind. One such memory is of sharing “favorite” songs with my father when I was young. Two songs in particular remain forever etched in my mind as “our songs”: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt and Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World. I am pretty sure I liked the former for its silly lyrics and simplistic pattern, while the latter most likely appealed to me because of the opening line, “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, he was a good friend of mine”. (Come on, how could you NOT like a song that started off like that!) I have many memories of singing those two songs with my Dad, and it always brings a smile to my face to think about that.
My son, Devin, who will be five years old in April, has always really liked music, and within the past several months, he has been picking up lyrics in songs and beginning to sing them. Any time we hear John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, he immediately announces, “hey Dad, this was your favorite song when you were little”, and then we sing a few stanzas together. Several weeks ago while we were riding in my truck, we heard the song Crazy Town by Jason Aldean (a country song for those of you who are not into Nashville), and once we got home, Devin started “singing” it as he was doing different things around the house. He had a few of the lyrics correct, but was substituting his own lyrics for some of the others (a talent he DEFINITELY inherited from his mother), so I asked him, “Devin, are you singing that song we just listened to on the ride home?” He said that he was, so I taught him the correct lyrics to part of the chorus: “we love it, we hate it, we’re all just trying to make it … in this crazy town”. Ever since then, he has been singing that song almost every day, and any time we hear it on the radio, the computer or the I-pod, we sing it together, once again bringing back memories of my Dad and I singing “Jeremiah was a bullfrog … “.
I don’t know if Devin will remember any of this 30+ years from now, or if we will develop another song in the future that he will remember as “our song”, but I hope that one day he gets to experience the joy of remembering singing with me as well as sharing a favorite song with his children. The one thing that is certain is that as time continues to pass, my memories of “singing” (I put it in quotes, because none of us will be winning American Idol anytime soon) with both my father and my son will continue to make me smile.
P. S. – both of my children (my daughter, Geneva, is 21 months old) are starting to discover the beauty of We Will Rock You by AC/DC, and seeing them sing that together is quite a fantastic (and hysterical) image as well