Ever wonder about…

Have you ever wondered about what life would be like if you were a in a different role?  Say for example if you were a mother instead of a father? Or if you were a doctor instead of a cook? Maybe if you were a little bit taller… Maybe if you liked sports instead of books?  I spend a great deal of time observing, for me I am much more interested in observation then engaging.  People are a curiosity to me, each one of us has a substantially unique way of going about our business. This is such a wonderful thing!  I often find myself in public watching how dad’s interact with their kids and it seems like it is broken down into three categories. One is the dad who is very reserved and seems to not be exactly sure where his role ends and his wife’s begins. Another example is the dad who has a tentative manner,  is rigid but engaged. The third is the dad who is just a giant kid himself!  Each of these presents its own learning opportunities, each of these also offer it’s own life path by its very nature of engagement with the children involved.  To be a dad engaged in your child’s life at all is going to be a bonus by default so therefore any of these three categories is a resounding and measurable impact on the children involved. 

 It is during these observations that I like to  allow my mind to factor in what would happen if the dad did something like this, or the dad did something like that, or if he would’ve said this versus that… And I tried to allow this scenario to play out to some resolution to see if I can go back to my own life and apply any of these things I’ve learned in the course of my day.  I spend a great deal of time watching my own sons, observing what it is they seem to favor, what it is they seem to like the most as well as trying my best to expose them to what all the world has to offer.  Make no mistake I hover, I am extremely protective and I am a very nervous dad. By that I mean I don’t want any harm to come to my child ever, I try to be as generous with my time as I humanly can, and I also try to put myself in their place when it comes to the way they view the world.  One of the other things that I do is to try and narrate my reasoning for things so that my boys understand that all of this is backed up by some type of logic, I am not one for saying you will do this because I say so. I’m very firm in my belief that if my children have a meaningful dialogue with me and a reasonably intelligent argument then I will honor this difference and try and find a way to compromise.  May be viewed by some as controversial, but I do believe in this day and age it is time for our children to be treated with a measure of individually that is age-appropriate,  by this I mean I do not expect my children to blindly obey I expect my children to question both the logic and the reasoning so that they will have a much more informed cognitive ability moving forward to not resist but to intelligently discuss. Far too often I see children that seem to be on auto pilot, they are lost in there 5.5 inch screen and much that goes around beyond that is lost on them. They are consumed by the notion that they can become famous just by recording their lives or catching a moment.  They need that instant gratification of the like, or a share, or some type of incident engagement that only exist in a digital realm and therefore their people skills, their reasoning, and their judgment in general seems to be taking a backseat to that constant need to satiate their own ends.  Now this may seem extreme, but it is a very small case study upon which I have based my observation…it mostly consists of teenaged children.  However I have noticed in my own child need the need to be noticed by his peers, a competitive nature where he seems to thrive on recognition and has also started to worry me that he is becoming too mature to fast. I write these things candidly to express to you that even as service providers I make these categorical mistakes because I am a dad that is constantly evolving and learning every bit as much as the dad standing next to me. Yes I have made the mistake of allowing my child free reign on the Internet, I’ve also made the mistake of giving him too much latitude in other areas. And so we talk about it, and sometimes we fight about it, and sometimes we just sit and talk and talk and talk…

  I’m supposing that all of this goes to show that at the end of the day when we try to imagine how could things be different if only we… We sometimes have to go the extra mile and postulate how plausible these things could be and then render the analysis of those postulations… It’s better to do this in and imaginative  context because it is an exercise in critical thinking and thus expands our own capacities for such thinking.  It’s a great idea to wander out loud with your significant other and try and see how similar you are and how different you are. Same with your family friends as well as your children.  In this day and age treating your child as an age-appropriate equal is a sense of empowerment which is not to say that when you tell them to clean your room and they say “why it’s my room” that is not what we are trying to arrive at here. We are simply endowing our children with an equal share of their investment in our family and their place in it. 

In closing, imagine, wonder and even allow if it’s comfortable to you and your family. There is growth in the unknown, there is a wisdom in all the paths we take. We can always fix the things that are going south, nothing is beyond us or our children. With an open mind, patience and enthusiasm we can go to places that we’ve only dream about, we can shape our conversations and our futures to reflect our now, if we only dare to try… you get one shot at life, but you get infinite tries in your mind to allow things to play out, take advantage of this and use it to shape and grow. Did you ever wonder why hope doesn’t give up? Well, as long as there is air in your lungs, Hope lives in all things and all people too.. foster it, know it intimately and allow for the hopes and dreams to shape your ambitions, your life… but more importantly, always wonder… play with the possibilities and learn… always wonder, you’re kids will connect so much easier if you’re curiosity is as alive as theirs… (::)

 

 

In memory of Heather B 12/19/80 – 7/2/2012