The kids are in the middle of a two week long vacation. I have dubbed this time heaven and hell. I love having them around all the time but spend more than a few minutes rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath. It is one of the challenges of having a home office, especially when they see themselves as having constant access to me. I am constantly striving to achieve that zen state of balance where I am able to work without interruption and yet still spend time with them. Thus far I haven’t figured it out, but I am nothing if not stubborn and am working on it.
In the interim I have had more than a few moments that are worth chronicling here in cyberspace.
Tuesday afternoon that dude I once dubbed as ‘Little Jack’ and I are going to take the afternoon off to participate in the Stain Games,a program hosted by Frigidare. I’ll provide more specific details about what happens that day, but if you want a sneak preview you can visit the Make Time For Change Facebook page and or visit the Make Time For Change website.
Anyway the little mister wanted to know why he gets to participate and if it is related to work. I told him that he gets to participate because it is work, he is my son and I need his help. In return I received a big hug, a huge smile and a promise to make sure that I am successful. I smiled back at him, thanked him and then told him that he needed to ask another question. He looked up at me and waited for me to tell him that question was. I explained that he needed to find out what it was that I needed to accomplish and that without understanding the objective it would be more challenging.
Granted that might sound like telling him how to build a clock when all he wants to know is what the time is. But at the same time I saw this moment as a chance to try and teach him a few things that would be useful. So he looked at me and asked me to tell him what the objective was so that he could help me. I told him that all I cared about was that he have fun and then he asked me why I shared the line about determining what the objective is. So I told him that my job as his father is to provide him with the tools he needs to figure out life and that this was one of those moments.
He smiled again and told me that he would try to do whatever it was he could to help. I thanked him again and told him that aside from having fun I wanted him to tell me after it was done what his favorite thing was because I would write about it. He said that he could do that and asked if I was told what to write by the people who were hiring me for this job. I told him that no one owns me and that I share my real opinions and thoughts. I told him that it is important to stand on our own and not be bought. It led into an interesting conversation about what that means and whether people have a price.
So we spent some talking about whether I could sell something that hurt people and if so, how much would it take to “buy me.” It is a pretty sophisticated conversation for a kid who isn’t quite 10.5, but I think that he followed most of it. While the specific details aren’t important I’ll note that I told him that if someone offered me enough money to take care of the family I would have to consider it.
I also told him thatÂ I would disclose my relationship with Frigidaire and that this was part of my demonstrating that I wasn’t bought.
“My participation in Frigidaireâ€™s Stain Games event was sponsored by Frigidaire
who provided me with travel arrangements to and from Los Angeles to participate.”
My favorite part of the conversation was when he asked me how I could be fair if people gave me free stuff. It is an excellent question and I was proud that he recognized that without prompting from me. The answer was simple. You do your best to establish honesty and trust with the readers/friends/family whomever and then it is up to them to decide what to do about what you say.