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As parents and fathers, we often write about how we are trying to raise the best sons and daughters that we can; we talk about how we want to instill respect not just for their fellow man but for nature and that which surrounds them; we talk about not just wanting them to be like us, but to be better than us.

So we spend our days and nights, our weeks and months, teaching both through expression as well as through lesson. Large doses of didacticism have recently come back to bite me in the ass; whether it is the rap career my boys want or their dreams of their own reality television show, they never cease to amaze me with what they walk away from when we break it down to using the tools around you to the best of your ability.

Recently, I heard my oldest son telling one of his friends something, and halfway through I realized the phrase coming out of his mouth was one I had been using with them over the last few months. So it should have come as no surprise that eventually things would turn back on me.

During a recent trip to the skatepark, the kids were watching as I was about to drop-in to the ramp. I second-guessed myself and in a split second I was splayed across the bottom of the cemented transition. The summer had been spent explaining to them how they need to commit to tricks, that you need to charge into a line one hundred percent. I told them that this applies to many facets of life: You need to own the mic, own the stage, own the ramp or own the field. If you don’t, your lapse in concentration and commitment will, more than not, bring about unpleasant results.

And here they saw their father do just what he said you shouldn’t do.

“You scared, dad?” said my seven-year-old.

I chuckled. “Nope, I just didn’t commit. And you see want happened?”

“It’s okay to be scared, dad,” he said. “Everybody is afraid of something.”

And then he turned and pushed off toward the angle of a bank he wanted to carve.