Thursday, April 09, 2015

How Kids Humble You

While painful at that moment, one of the things I love about having kids is how they can so quickly and gently humble you and give you a sense of perspective.

Paco, to his credit, took on a huge challenge by attempting to read a long, extremely dense biography of Winston Churchill. It was certainly above his vocabulary level (to be fair, many of the words were above the NFO's and my vocabulary level!).  He was supposed to read it over Passover break, but with every page requiring a visit to a dictionary (or Google), it became obvious that we weren't going to finish the 300+ pages.

I really enjoyed reading the book with him, as did the NFO. It was a mini-adventure and we actually learned a lot about Churchill. However, at some point, we had to admit that we weren't going to finish before the deadline, so we had to step back.

Paco apologized to me.

He felt bad that he had "wasted time" by reading a book with the NFO and me and "taking you away from your work."

I felt bad.  The fact that my son thought that ANY time I spent with him in the pursuit of knowledge, education, experience, and just being together was a waste and that work was more important than he, indicated to me that I was/am sending the wrong message.

I tried to explain to him that my entire reason for being is to be his dad (well, and his sisters). Certainly in the biological sense and that, while I love my work and I do work a lot, it is with his ultimate needs in mind.

Sure, we lose focus on this and money doesn't replace time.  But, it's not even time, it's about focus and communicating that we care.

In general, I think (hope) I do a pretty good job of communicating this to my kids, but every now and then, I really appreciate the strong reminder.

He's a great kid (all of my kids are) and I am blessed that they are able to tell me when I have messed up.
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