And Then Came The Next Challenge

And then came the moment where the teenager whose hands and feet are mirror images of my own decided to really test his will against mine.

Much harder to make sure he feels the impact of my glare over the phone or through Facetime.

Love that kid so very much, but would like him better at this moment if he didn’t have to be so very much like me in this way.

Spent time under a starry sky looking for answers or inspiration but didn’t find anything that I could use to make this moment disappear or move more quickly.


It would be fair to say I erupted, or more accurately the voice of reason inside my head said “fuck this shit, it is time to get real.”

That is not something my children experience or see very often.

My voice is deep enough I don’t have to raise it to be heard and most of the time they recognize that when I get more soft spoken and quieter it is because they are toeing the line they should not cross.

Steiner the minor is old enough now to have his own thoughts and ideas about how things go and is usually willing to test out his ideas.

Part of me celebrates that because the goal has always been to help my children become self-sufficient and independent members of society.

But his not quite yet fully formed brain and lack of experience in some areas doesn’t always help him make the best choices he could make.

The question I often ask myself is whether I let him fail and flail around because it is the kind of teaching moment he’ll get something out of or if the consequences of not stepping in will be severe.

In the current undescribed scenario I see my son digging a hole for himself that he will not enjoy climbing out of.

He doesn’t see the entire row of dominos he has chosen to knock over and it could be pretty damn ugly.

Doesn’t mean he won’t be able to work things out or that this mess will forever be a mess but it does mean that things could last far longer than necessary.

And it hurts me to see him do things this way because I know what it means to do things the hard way.

I have had multiple conversations with him but thus far my advice has gone mostly unheeded.


I am not clairvoyant and I can’t say for certain which way things will go.

Can’t say his choices are going to lead to a much more horrible outcome than my advice will take him to with the sort of certainty he wants.

But when we discuss things and I tell him that fear isn’t always the best advisor to rely upon it is because I am intimately familiar with it.

Fear and I have danced cheek to cheek many times and I am certain the only times I have gotten through some moments is because I grabbed fear by the throat and jumped over the cliff with him.

It wasn’t because of bravado but because of that whole Captain Kirk scene I sometimes share here.

Should the video not work for you here is the exchange I am referring to:

Spock: I will go with you, Captain.
James T. Kirk: No, I need you on the bridge.
Spock: I can not allow you to do this. It is my function aboard the ship to advise you in making the wisest decisions possible, something I firmly believe you are incapable of doing in this moment.
James T. Kirk: You’re right! What I am about to do, it doesn’t make sense, it’s not logical, it is a gut feeling! I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. I only know what I can do.

That describes a lot of parenting and a lot of life now doesn’t it.

I generally move with purpose and intent because it doesn’t serve me well to enter into the land of paralysis of analysis, but it doesn’t always mean I have made the smartest or best choice.

Nor does it mean I have chosen the worst either, it just means I sail through life as the captain of my ship.

I do the best I can to find smooth waters and to avoid the rocks but the storms, well no one manages to sail around all of them.

The best you can hope for is to sail through them with minimal damage and to come out the other side a little bit wiser.

Guess we’ll see how this particular storm turns out.

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  1. Larry September 4, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    I hope the Captain you are raising is making some wise decisions as well. He’ll screw up plenty of times – just like we did and still do.

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