I've got these two boys in my life. Each day I wake up to their crazy personalities. Each day they breathe life into me. I hope everyday to inspire them. I want my children to have experiences each day that drive their passion and invigorate their most dire impulse.
We start every single morning in my house with music and glasses of water (At least for Dad). There are few things in this world as amazing as watching my one year old melt down to that Jessie J/Arianna Grande/Nicki jam Bang, Bang. I mean seriously, my jaw = the floor. These kids tho.
How do we shape our children to be happy and healthy human beings? I think we do it by practice. Few things are perfect out of the gate. I mean shit, I made it through my 20's by the skin of my teeth and only because my wife, then GF, saved my ass left and right. I was hella lost. But, you wouldn't know it now. I got my shit together, I got my hustle on. Well, mostly.
I'm trying to teach myself how to become a supportive role-model in my children's lives. I know that I don't automatically become a great dad. It's going to take hard work and perseverance. The amount of times I've shaken my head at my own stubbornness is appalling but I keep moving forward. I keep trying. I get better.
You see every time I invest more deeply in them, I learn that much more about me. It's like I'm creating the Win/Win. Our interactions help us both mutually grow together like vines tightly entwining themselves. I'm supporting them; they're supporting me.
Our world feels crazy these days but I'm fairly certain those are just the sentiments of an adult gaining perspective, responsibility and fear. It's tempting to believe that our world is devolving around us. It's not. What's important to remember is that we each play an integral part in the collective march forward. Growth. Progress. Evolution.
I hope to instill in my boys a deep sense of empathy for the world that will help them become so strong. I know they'll have challenges in their lives that I cannot overcome for them but I want to do my best to help them start off on the right foot. My children will be tasked with helping to fix the problems we've created with Race, Class and our Environment. I can't help but feel they'll do much better in the face of those challenges with a strong ability to empathize with the world around them.
It's important to say how you feel. To say what you mean. There's a little fire that dies inside of me when I cannot honestly express my position. Call it the irascible tendencies of the spirit but in short the inability to commit to the truth drive me nuts.
I learned so much in my life from not being true to myself. It took a long time and I still have a lot of work to do, but it's only been recent that I've found the clarity to know what I'm really about and how to represent it. I only wish I had learned more quickly to take confidence in my hunch about myself. I hope to show my children how to raise their ideas with conviction and stay the course with conviction. I want them to understand the position of the naysayer very early on because I believe that knowledge presents a view of the forest for the trees.
Work Hard, Play Hard, Work Hard. I learned a lesson very early in my life and it wasn't by being told; it was by example. I have a 99 year old grandfather. He's my Dzia Dzia (that's Polish for grandfather). From as young an age as I can remember my Dzia played a critical role in my life. He was definitely a great grandfather in the traditional sense; hugs and kisses, sweets and candy, hi-jinx; but he was also so much more.
It took me until just recently to start to see how much of my grandfather I embody everyday. He was a self-made man by all accounts and measures. Whether it was opening a gas station on his property, teaching himself to be an ace mechanic, flying a plane or winning a boxing title; my Dzia has never lacked in ideas or drive.
I think growing up I always took for granted how determined I was to do things my way. How much I was willing to go out on a limb to realize a crazy idea. It wasn't until I got into my mid 20's that I realized many of those traits I possessed weren't things that everyone had. In fact those traits were seemingly found few and far between. Thank you Dzia.
As my grandfather continues his ascent to 100 years (Sto Lat) I find myself searching our conversations for all of the details. I need those tips and ideas. I need his perspective now more than ever. After all, I have to make sure that wisdom and grace is transitioned through to my boys as well.
All of you people out there! I'm talking to you! Take time with everyone and teach as you go; teach as a way of life. I guarantee the value you redeem from your efforts will outshine anything you could've done with your time. In the process you'll help someone along, help create a better place to live and help to keep everyone moving in the right direction.
Be sure to leave a comment below and tell me what you think! Also, check out the killer film by ClickSpark of my Dzia Dzia. It'll make you smile. I promise.