Midway throughÂ myÂ Father’s Day the kids and I had a long conversation about what they want to do with their lives and how I figured out what I want to do with mine.
Somewhere in the midst of it all they both looked at me with wonder and asked questions about my dreams and why I haven’t lived them all…yet.
I tell them there are more than a few reasons why I have lived some and not managed to live others. There are moments in time and layers of life that change you and push you in directions you never thought to go in before.
Some of those are magical moments that fill your heart and soul with gratitude and make you throw your head back, eyes closed and lips peeled apart in a wide mouth grin.
Others are a different sort, the kind that leave you wondering how you turned into a punching bag and furious because you can’t take a swing at the demon that has been working you over.
And these are all part of the layers we experience.
The Layers Of Life
I play the video for the kids and tell them part of what I love about this song is hearing all of the different voices singing together.
Instead of one element there is an alloy, a melding of minds that lends itself to creating a different sort of musical mashup.
It is an experience you can’t have alone.
We go back and forth about this and that, sharing moments and memories and I talk about the importance of taking time for yourself to figure out what you want and how you intend to get it.
The point is to help them understand the value of good friends and companionship as well as recognizing that sometimes we need to take time for ourselves to learn who we are.
My going to be 11-years-old in a few weeks daughter is starting to talk about boys and making me wonder if she is going to be interested in them sooner than later.
Her older brother, the boy who enters high school in the Fall claims to have no interest in girls. He tells me he sees no reason to hang out with them because most are irritating.
I ask him if is sure about that and he says there are probably a few who might make decent friends, but the screaming, squealing and assorted other comments about middle school girls makes him wonder why he should take the time.
Besides, the few friends of his who have had girlfriends always end up complaining about being bossed around and or irritated in one way or another.
I assure him it doesn’t have to be like that and if you find the right girl she can be a good friend and fun to play with. He tells me he is not interested in learning what fun means and I tell him to relax, I am not pushing him.
What I don’t tell him is I am convinced he is paying far more attention than he claims, but that is ok, one day he’ll admit I am right. 🙂
Fathers & Fantasies
I look at the blog stats to see what the most popular posts here are and wonder if I should try to focus some of my writing around them.
The conceptÂ is give the people what they want and it is easier to build the blog faster than I have been. The theory that follows is it helps build exposure and it leads to more writing opportunities.
More opportunities mean more chances for Old Jack Steiner to try and live fantasies and not dream them.
So I grab a sample of the top 50 (based upon pageviews) and ask myself what I think I should do to leverage theÂ strengthÂ of the posts I see in the list below.
- A Letter To My Children-2011
- Some Things Iâ€™ll Teach My Children (Updated)
- The Best Cover Letterâ€¦.Ever
- One Slightly Used Pump For Sale
- Mean Girls Come From Mean Moms
- Why Steve Jobs Isnâ€™t Important Now
- There Are No Coincidences
- Never Bet Against A Sicilian When Death Is On The Line
- Thank You Lewis Black- If It Werenâ€™t For My Horse
- A Letter To The Universe
- 666 Devilish Ways To Become A Social Media Superstar
- How To Deal With Mean Girls & Mean Moms
- Why Your Post Sucks and Everyone Hates Your Blog
- A Letter To My Children-2012
It is mixture of topics and I see a variety of ways to attack it but what I don’t feel is a tremendous push to focus on these.
I prefer to continue to follow my own path. I prefer to look at the layers of life and write about them as they strike my fancy and not force the square into the circular hole.
In good conscience I ask myself if this is what I would advise my children to do and wonder if it’s the right path.
The gut response is immediate, “follow your gut” and let things grow as they will. Sustain your effort and good things will continue to come from that.
Fleetwood Mac is singing Gold Rush Woman and I look at the video to watch and listen to the layers and I think about how old the band is and how they have managed to stick around for so many years.
There is a more sophisticated answer than saying they just kept doing what they do, but “doing what they do” works for me.
It makes sense and sometimes the best way for father to live his dreams and turn fantasy into reality is to just do what he does.
So that is what I am going to do, keep writing about what I want, when I want and see where it takes me. There is joy in the journey.
Tim Bonner June 28, 2015 at 2:38 am
My recently turned 5 year-old daughter has a huge crush on a boy in her class. I wonder whether it’ll be the same in even a year’s time. She even says she wants to marry him, although the concept of the whole thing is a little jumbled in her mind!
The innocence of it means that when you kiss someone you have to marry them and when you marry them you immediately have a baby.
Larry June 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm
My 11-year-old son has a friend who is a girl, but he will near nothing about ‘liking her.’ Seriously, he gets annoyed.
jacksteiner June 26, 2015 at 6:58 am
That sounds about right, they don’t like talking about it much now do they. 🙂
Janine Huldie June 25, 2015 at 10:53 am
I am with you and am going to keep writing what I want to and just enjoy the ride now, as well!! 🙂
jacksteiner June 26, 2015 at 6:58 am
It is a hell of a journey but so much fun.
cathyjonest June 25, 2015 at 8:04 am
Hi Jack, Enjoyed this post and remembered my own kids and their teenage years. Bumpy at times, but transition happened smoothly. I always encouraged them to think for themselves. And it worked. They do.
I also wondered. For those of us who read your posts in our email, do those stats get added? I don’t always comment but do read most of them and wondered how that adds up. Not that it matters since you are following your own path. Just curious. 😉
jacksteiner June 26, 2015 at 6:57 am
If you are reading posts via email you are not included in the stats that generated the list of posts above.
I always like hearing parents talk about teaching their children to think for themselves, probably because it feels like individual thought is something that doesn’t happen enough.
Hope you are having a good day and thank you for the comments, I appreciate them.