Father Doesn’t Always Know Best

Choices and Decisions

Not unlike most Americans I am an immigrant.

Technically members of my family have been here since the 19th century but I am still only the third generation that was born in the U.S. and not overseas.

Those guys didn’t come by plane, they came by ship and did so during a time when long distance travel could be classified as arduous, life-changing and potentially life threatening.

I wonder what they would say if they knew that I was in Texas for less than 24 hours.

What would they say if I told them I caught a morning flight, rented a cool car for fun, spent a couple of hours in a meeting and then went about my business.

What would they think if I told them I drove around places I knew from when I lived there for fun and that I ended up eating raw fish so I could think about the meeting and try to figure out what my next move would be.

If I told them I thought I might have an opportunity that could be quite lucrative and could be life changing they would probably understand.

They came to America was to avoid conscription into the czar’s army and avoid pogroms or so we were told, but the real reason was to take a shot at living a better life and to offer something more for their children.

I am certain the technological advancements of our time would amaze them and I imagine it might even make them scoff a bit at the things I wonder about.

Because if the opportunity is presented to me I have relatively few concerns about how I will do with it. I’ll roll with whatever is presented and if things don’t work out as I hope, well I’ll just adapt and adjust.

But like most parents I look at my children and ask if this will be good for them. I look at my children and wonder if something like this will be 50 percent as good as I think it could be because that is enough for it to make sense to me.

Father Doesn’t Always Know Best

Sometimes I wonder if we give them too much influence on our decision making and not enough credit for being resilient.

I am willing to put money down that my great-grandparents didn’t ask their children if they wanted to move, they just did it.

I know that is what happened to my parents. When my grandfathers found better jobs they moved the family and there wasn’t any discussion.

And unlike now my parents weren’t able to call, email or Facetime with their friends. You wrote a letter and hoped your friend was a good pen pal.

Part of me says I should give them some sort of say here because father doesn’t always know best but the truth is that influence is limited.

If the opportunity materializes in the form I hope and suspect I will do my best to do it because until the rubber meets the road you never really know what things will be like.

I’ll do it because my fervent belief is it will help me give them a better life and be good for my career. And if it doesn’t come about, well I’ll keep my eyes open for other opportunities that will help me provide them with a better life.

The Big Difference Between Then & Now

If my great-grandparents and I were to sit down now I am sure they would point out how easily I moved from state to state and they would suggest if needed be I could do so again.

I am sure they would point out that even if the family did it a few times it is not impossible and far less difficult than sailing from home to a place where you don’t speak the language or understand the culture.

And I am sure they would appreciate my saying that some of the decision making comes from a place that isn’t based upon logic or reason.

It is just a feeling that you can roll with the mystery of life and make it all work.

So maybe father doesn’t always knows best but he definitely knows something and if he isn’t sure he can always ask the Magic 8 Ball for help.

That has to be worth something. 😉

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  1. Melissa The Imp Charles June 13, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    We’re planning a long distance move. At least, we *were* until the truck died yesterday. how much that costs to fix will determine when the move happens…at this rate, probably another year, which ticks me off more than I can say.


    Our kids haven’t gotten a ‘vote’ per say. We’ve talked about the reasons why we’re looking to do this, and have an ongoing conversation about it, but, none of them have veto power. Even if all of them banded together, they still wouldn’t get a veto, so, they’re stuck with our choices.

    Is it fair? Yeah, I think it is, simply b/c we’re the guys paying the bills. When they’re the bill payers, they get to make the choices.

    But, at the same time, they do get a voice. They talk about their questions, concerns, and we address them as they come up.

    • Jack Steiner June 13, 2015 at 8:37 pm

      Well I hope the truck repairs are less than you expect them to be. I understand the whole moving thing, which is why I am pushing it on my end here. Sometimes you have to turn things upside down and inside out or at least shake it up so that you can establish a better and secure foundation.

      I told the kids they are welcome to voice their thoughts but they don’t get a vote as to the final outcome. When they pay the bills, then…

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