I have lots of people in my life who have things in common with me. I have neighbors who share our neighborhood in common with me, so when we talk to each other we talk about the neighborhood. I have work colleagues who share work things in common with me. I know the guy at the cleaners and every time we see each other we talk about the weather. That’s what we have in common I guess. It is this collection of threads that make up our lives. And some threads I think are more important than others.
When I was a child I read ‘The Hobbit’ and immediately after, ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The book made such a lasting impression on me that it shaped my reading habits and preferences for the rest of my life. When the movies came out I was, as they say in the south, in ‘hog heaven’. Since that first reading I have read the books again at least 4 or 5 times and re-discover new things each time. Recently on the family vacation trip I decided to take the DVDs of The Lord of the Rings with us in the van. For 6 hours one way, and 6 hours back, my kids watched the movies. And this is the ‘rest of the story’ as they say.
My 14 year old son, who didn’t show much interest a few years ago when I tried to get him to read the book and watch the movies, has suddenly taken to them. He pours over maps and talks about why this was included in the story, and why this wasn’t, and what this means, and on and on. He wants to know what I think about all these things, and what other books might be out there about it that he can read. He said to me the other day, ‘Dad, I am pretty much obsessed with Lord of the Rings right now.’ Which finally brings me to the point of this post.
My son and I now have a common thread. A love for Tolkien. A love for this story. He is now making little jokes by repeating lines from the book, to which we chuckle and smile at each other because we know the inside joke. We talk about what we think, what we like, and what we don’t like. It is something we now share. A common thread.
My wife has it with our daughter… a common interest they share and enjoy together. A common thread. And now with my 14 year old son I have it. Something we can always share that hopefully he will pass along to his kids. Â And I have come to believe how very important it is to have something like that with your child. Â It may seem silly to some people to obsess over hobbits and rings and such. But it isn’t about that to me. To me it is about sharing something with my son that’s ‘ours’. A common thread that bonds us. And if you will pardon me, I have to go now. I have to go brush up on my Elivish grammar.