One of the nice things about summer is that children seem to find their way back home even after finishing college. It is during these times of reconnecting that I find interesting commonalities my children and I have shared over the years.

This past week our son was home and we spent time catching up. After dinner one evening he wanted to show us some new technology he thought we would be interested in.

He proceeded to take out a new set of headphones that he thought were just "the bomb."

The memories started to flood from there. Headphones were one of the major ways I found to bridge the generation gap with my parents.

In the 1960s, it was the rage to listen to loud rock 'n' roll. Wearing headphones, I could play my music as loud as I wanted without rattling the tiny row house where we lived in Flushing, N.Y. My parents considered them a great investment in their sanity.

The theme continued in the summer of 1973 during my first real job unloading planes at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Standard gear to muffle the roaring sounds of the jet engines were headphones, which we wore to prevent hearing damage.

That summer I learned unloading planes for the rest of my life was not for me. The day I handed in my headphones, I headed straight for college and the rest of my life.

Recalling the last time I was really into finding the best headphones hit me really hard. Deb and I had just gotten pregnant and were thrilled we were finally going to become parents.

Because we were considered at the time to be "older" parents at 35, we decided it was vital to be in the best physical shape possible.

I can remember back during the pregnancy going to the gym with Debbie. Our workouts evolved along with the pregnancy.

Back then the fitness craze was just starting. The '80s health-club experience included Spandex and Sony Walkmans - possibly the earliest form of personal workout music.

Now I smile as I realize that the reason we were getting in shape back then is now a 25-year-old man. And the music continues.

Enjoy the journey.


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