Tuesday, June 11, 2013

About How Families Work

It is not the easiest of things in life to make time for everything that you want, need, or would like to do. It gets even more complicated when you add the competing interests of others in your family. You want to go to the park while mom might want to go to the gym, me, I might not know what exactly I want to do but those two options are not it. That is life as a family. I made many decisions in my life that have led me to this point in my life. Those decisions came with responsibilities. Get married, you have to take into account your wife's desires. Have children, they have needs that take priority. I know that you can sense some of that in the household; any kid can. I just want you to know that it is not your fault. You will grow and learn that it is part of humanity. It is a skill that we all must learn and constantly use. What skill? The ability to prioritize competing interests and find common ground, to make sacrifices, to compromise. 

I am your father but I am also an individual and at times it takes work to balance those two roles. I just need you to know that regardless you will always be my daughter, I will always love you, and I will do everything to ensure your happiness. That does not mean I will do what you want me to do but what I need to. Long work days are necessary to provide for us. Saying no to extra work is also necessary to put family first. Every day we all have to find balance. It is not always easy. Knowing what is important, family, helps me keep me focused on what matters. In the long run you will see that the sacrifices that your mother and I have made will pay dividends to us all. It is important to know that the cost, the price, paid in life does not always show up on a bill. Some times it is in the time and attention that it requires. You have all my attention, all my time if you need it.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Teaching The Art of War to a 6 Year Old

In life there are some things that I truly dislike. I mean really, truly, and deeply dislike. I hate the feeling I get when my hands are tied and I cannot help those I love. This feeling is magnified when it involves you. I dislike it so much that it motivated me in part to create this blog. I wanted to be able to pass on my knowledge to you so you would know who I am but more importantly because I wanted you to know. Know everything. Know things. Knowledge is power. Some of my posts are sappy and others are celebratory. Some are a response to something I have seen, experienced, or thought about. Others are simply words that I want to pass on to you; my daughter.

Maybe reading this post years from today will remind you of a little nugget of advice I gave you this week... 

In life we all encounter people who like to stir the pot. For reasons unbeknown to us they like to start drama. You have met someone in your young life that fits that bill. Personality clashes? Insecurities? Who knows why she likes confrontations and seems to like getting them going. I know you are your mother's child and won't back down for anyone (one of my favorite things about her by the way). Some times in order to win the war it is not a matter of going blow for blow. If we go through life like that we are bound to find someone that is just as intent on destruction and hostilities will never end. 

Sun-Tzu said that war is a psychological affair with deception being the greatest weapon. What does that have to with kindergartners? Simple, I told you rather than argue back at the next round of "pot-stirring" to simply smile and give her a thumbs up. The result? She was shell-shocked and did not know what to do and thus was unable to get anything started. While this is not a long-term solution and will not work every time it does give you control of a situation when it does. By not giving people what they want and changing the game to the one you want to play you get behind the driver's seat.

I will not always be there when things get ugly, awkward, or uncomfortable. My advice and life lessons will be. I hope that I am able to do a good job as a father and prepare you to face life and adapt when the unforeseen happens. As a father I fear that I will never be able to feel 100% at ease as I know as you grow up you will be further away from my protection as you seek your own path but I want you to know that no matter what I will always be a call away. I will always have your back. I will always be here when you need me.