Father and Son

June 20, 2014

I was mistakenly waiting for my son to grow up to share my thoughts and views. This allows me to do it asynchronously – even if I think he is not quite ready to take everything in but it allows him to get what he needs when he needs it. I can not wait until I change and be more expressive. I am not one to assume but I suspect the Internet will be around long enough for him to read it.  I am not dying (not that I know of!) but I feel I should write while I still can – if Life has taught me anything, you can not anticipate what the future holds; all you can do is try to hedge your bets as best as you can.

I am not that wise (I am not that presumptuous!) but my advanced age has granted me some life experiences.  That said, I am still learning.  I have always believed that you can learn from everyone:  what to do or what NOT to do.  Bits of these are available to my son not so that he can avoid “mistakes” entirely but he can make calculated assessments on what to commit knowing what the consequences are.  As Bill Gates once said, success is a poor teacher.  I know it is hard for parents (myself included) but children should be allowed to make their own mistakes – with the proper guidance, of course.  We, as a society, are so hung up on getting it right the first time that we often forget the importance of the process in arriving at the solution. They say youth is wasted on the young – I do not agree with that; they need the extra time to right the ship.

You can (and should) expose your children to different things.  You hope certain things stick but in the end it is ultimately their choice.  To paraphrase the poet Khalil Gibran, they come from you but are not you.  They have their own identity separate from your own.

I have been raised to expect greatness and there are pros and cons to this.  My expectations being so high can be viewed as both good and bad.  What you can achieve is often surprising but the immense pressure can be a burden.  Do not get me wrong, it can be exhilarating to accomplish things but it would not hurt to understand the reasons behind them.  In the end, what you do or have done is not as important as the person you are.

I may not always say it or show it but what is paramount is that he knows that I will always love him.