I usually reserve this space for things performance related, but I think there is some crossover wisdom here and well I think it is worth a read!
10 things my son taught me
Buy expensive knives.
The coffee bean matters.
Take a used car to a mechanic before you buy it.
The relationship between a boy and his mother really matters.
Research is good, too much research is paralyzing.
Follow the recipe as prescribed the first time through...read the reviews of the recipe.
Conversations don’t need to be long.
Advice doesn't always get followed on day one.
Repetition is a necessary thing.
My mother wasn’t bad at arguing...I was a pain in the ass!
My son is a smart charismatic young man, equal parts inspiration and pain in the ass. I have had the pleasure of spending a lot of alone time with him learning lessons. Kids are amazing and within the right space can teach us as much as we hope to teach them.
The list above is my top ten list of things he has taught me...Interestingly the “thought” about the knives popped into my head one day followed by the top ten list then the other 9 items came to me in less than 5 minutes – I thought this telling...like the information was card cataloged in my brain awaiting for a time to be used. With that said below is a little deeper dive into each.
Buying expensive knives could also be stated as buying great knives, knives that will awe and inspire for a lifetime...the knives that he buys are works of art and he will have them for many years. I try to think of this now in terms of all my hobbies, especially Triathlon – buy something correctly the first time and it will serve you for many years to come.
The coffee bean matters...we bought a nice espresso machine that makes great espresso (this is a whole other story) and it truly is a joy to make my morning cappuccino, I get to start my day preparing a treat with this elegant machine...Historically, my M.O. had been to shop for budget beans and one day he looked at me and said “you know Dad the beans you buy make the difference between a good cup and a great cup” - from then on I decided to save $2-$4 in other areas of my life – not in this simple area with such a small cost compared to the joy it brings me!
Take a used car to a mechanic before buying it...Spencer bought his first car with his own money saved from working in restaurants and his research and due diligence was awe inspiring (see point #5) - his car was worth more than he paid for it and he could have flipped it shortly after purchasing and made a profit...pretty good for a 16 year old!
The relationship between a boy and his mother matters...watching the relationship between my wife and son for the last 18+ years has been a treat and a challenge...watching two trains on the same track running straight towards each other seems, at first glance, like an easy thing to stop! As an independent observer eager to help, interjecting sagely wisdom is truly the recipe for success, right? Nope, this relationship is theirs to manage and cultivate, to grow and develop in their spirit, it is their past, for their future – their relationship is important and theirs alone.
Research is good to much research is paralyzing...sometimes you just have to buy the car (see #3)
Follow the recipe as prescribed the first time through...read the reviews of the recipe...The first time you make a dish from a recipe off the internet do two things. First, read the reviews. You will learn a lot from them. Second, make the recipe as prescribed before making any changes, otherwise you won’t know if the recipe is any good – the only exception to this is making changes based on something you read in the comments...since they already made the recipe you can use this advice if it sounds like something that would add to the recipe for you!
Conversations don’t need to be long/Advice doesn't always get followed on day one/Repetition isn’t a bad thing.... while these are listed separately above, I will treat them all together here...One major thing that I have learned from my son is that when stating important things, shorter is better. Repeating it reinforces you thought it is important enough to say again...I also try to empathize that the repetition wasn’t a result of forgetfulness but a result of importance...ALSO an important side note, success might not be able to be claimed until you hear your child say it to their child...with my son I will sometimes here him credit other sources for my nuggets of wisdom...I take solace that it got through and not umbridge with who got the credit.
My mother wasn’t bad at arguing...I was a pain in the ass!...Lastly and potentially the greatest gift that my son has given me is the realization that my Mother wasn’t incapable with holding a critical thinking conversation (IE Argument). I love conversations that require critical thinking, I love a good debate – I thought that for years I was having “debates” with my mother but unfortunately they all ended in “JUST BECAUSE I SAID”. This ending was always wildly unfulfilling to me and to be honest seemed like a copout...Fast forward 30 or so years and I learned through my sons in ability to let things go that there was no acceptable answer to him other than the one he wanted and well to be blunt, sometimes I was just over it, only to reply...well, I’m the Dad and that’s my decision...not so far from “just because I said”