What Do You Want From Me?

He drew himself up to his full height, puffed out his chest and asked, “What do you want from me?”

I told him it is the wrong question and he sighed and made some comment about being frustrated that his answers would never be good enough for me.

“You need to listen carefully. The right question is what do I want for you and not from you. I am your father. I want the best for you. Sometimes that might mean pushing you to reach for and beyond your potential.”

We went back and forth a bit as parents and children do and I did my best to listen and hear what he had to say.

Since it pushing midnight and we both needed sleep I didn’t pull out the quote I wanted to share with him.

Tastelife
But I have spent a chunk of time since that conversation thinking about whether I want him to taste life or to consume it.

Hell, I am still trying to figure out what approach is best for me.

Should we use savor instead of consume or is it just a game of semantics because I know what I am trying to say.

The point is I don’t want to just pass through life. I want to make an impact and be impacted.  It is a two way street here, if you don’t know I was there than what did I do with my life.

And if I don’t know you were there, than what did you do with yours.

Gratitude & Awareness

The secret to life isn’t just based in experiences.

It is not just about driving fast cars and going on trips or doing things that are different from your daily experiences.

Those are important and significant but so is being aware of how lucky you are to have these opportunities when they come and to be grateful for them.

So the question of what I want from and for the kids is pretty simple. Gratitude and awareness and the realization that although we have limited control over many things it doesn’t mean we don’t have it over some things.

I want them to put themselves in a position to taste life and to say they have lived and not just passed through.

That is what I want for and from them.

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4 Comments

  1. Larry November 7, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Shouldn’t we all want this for our kids? I know I do. The bigger issue is having the child want it for him/herself. That’s the only way it’s possible.

    • admin November 8, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      Absolutely.

      I feel fortunate that my kids are mostly self motivated and push themselves to do better. I know people who are concerned about their kids lack of motivation to work hard.

  2. T Hopkins November 5, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I’m with you on all that, Joshua!  Each generation wants far better for their kids than they themselves had; that comes from experience.  We hope they don’t make the mistakes that we have made and we want them to take what we try to teach them to heart, so that they will not have to learn the hard way, like we did, because we didn’t listen to our folks back then so much, either.  I guess that’s just the ol’ circle of life thing.  As parents now ourselves, we are passionate and adamant about these things, and the kids don’t yet get that–not enough life experience under their belts.  But as parents, I think we still have an obligation–no, a privilege–to do all we can, every day, and then allow them to learn and make their own mistakes and choices (and that which ought to bring us peace of mind does nothing to quell the anxiety about it all, but you know how it is, too…)  

    After my dad passed away, I felt so lost, for such a long time.  I lost a lot of years there, too, when I was hurting and numb and afraid to feel and love as deeply as I wanted to and should have.  My kids were growing, meantime.  I’m thankful I woke up out of the grief and apathy in time to enjoy the rest of their childhoods with them, and I am more passionate than ever about helping them not only taste life, but to savor it, too, as I learn to do the same.  We’re about to embark on a great adventure together, and although I know the road will not always be smooth, I can’t wait to get started.  

    May you and yours enjoy every moment, too.  

     

    • admin November 6, 2015 at 9:45 am

      I am in complete agreement about helping them make their own mistakes. Can’t put them in a cocoon and protect them from the world and even if we could, in the long run it wouldn’t help them.

      It is too important not to let them fail and learn from experience. Of course we don’t want to kill their self esteem in the process, but you have to help them figure out adversity won’t kill them either.

      Hope you have a great weekend and that your week was awesome.

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