you're reading...

Cornelius News

A father is patient, kind and a work in progress. I know I am.

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

June 17. Our little corner of the neighborhood has seen an influx of babies in the last year or so, which got me to thinking, because it doesn’t take much to get me to thinking.

The Mother of Dragons and I are old. We say things to the new parents like “the first few months are the hardest” and “no it’s way too early for potty training.”

But I guess we’re still kind of young. We don’t know anything yet about the teenage years.

I’ve been writing this annual Father’s Day column for nearly 10 years and I don’t think either of my kids have ever read it. But then I got to thinking that maybe this column might be meant for other adults as much as my kids.

You learn a lot about parenting and about yourself during the journey and sometimes it’s good to remind yourself what’s important. After all, we’re all a work in progress.

Without further ado …

As a child, if you want for nothing then you’ll never understand the satisfaction of wanting something and having to work to get it. This is a dying tenet of parenting in the 28031 but you’re stuck with it in our house.

Don’t ever, ever, ever do something to your appearance to appease someone else. If you love pink hair then dye it pink. Especially if your dance teacher tells you not to.

Watching you guys struggle with something and ultimately succeed is far more satisfying than watching it come to you easily.

Life happens

Loyalty is important. Blind loyalty is detrimental to you and whomever you’re staying blindly loyal to. It’s important to look out for others but it’s important to look out for yourself, too.

When an adult talks to you, shelve the low-voice-cool-guy-teenager voice and speak to them with the respect they deserve.

At some point in your adult years you come to figure out who you truly are and what you stand for. I’ve always wondered if a person figures that out earlier how much more of their lives would have been lived on their terms instead of someone else’s.

Yes, I’m weird

I know I’m weird and I’m not for everyone and I’m fine with that. The thing is, though, I don’t care. I just don’t care. Someday you’ll appreciate that.

I think every person goes through periods of waning confidence and being self-conscious about any number of things. I was a pretty self-conscious kid. But somewhere around the age of 18 I decided that I didn’t really care what people thought of me and, man, the sooner you get there the better.

The best partners/teammates/coworkers don’t care who gets the credit for success and often go out of their way to deflect to others. If accomplishing something without credit doesn’t make you feel good then taking credit for something you didn’t do won’t feel good either.

Hit ‘pause’

As I’ve gotten older I try to pause every once in a while, look around, and appreciate a moment while I’m in the moment. It’s a hard thing to do when you’re a kid but I wish I’d started doing it earlier.

There is nothing I love more than watching you guys run around a field. No advice here. I know you love the sports you play but I just want you to know how much I appreciate being able to watch you.

Sometimes you have to make decisions that are in your best interests and not others. Your friends are the ones who understand that. Discard those who don’t.

I know you guys don’t always want to do stuff with us these days but, you know what? I didn’t always want to do stuff with you when you were little. Remember that when we ask if you want to go fishing or get lunch or just go for a boat ride.

Life secrets…

Here’s a secret for all the kids. Your parents probably don’t really care if you get into trouble. But don’t take responsibility or lie about it and you’re dead.

As parents who put a great deal of time and energy and focus into raising kids, it feels really good when people say nice things to us about you guys. No advice here – I just want you to know that.

When you’re going through a rough spot, focus on controlling the controllable. There are infinite things in this life that you have no control over so stop worrying or thinking about them and control what you can control. It makes getting through a rough patch a lot easier.

Then again, in reality the only things you can truly control each day are your attitude and effort. Wake up, put two feet on the ground, and go. Every day.

Don’t have political conversations with anyone over the age of 60. Conservative or liberal.

Right way, wrong way

You know in your heart what you can do. Be confident, not arrogant. Restrained, not boisterous. When it’s over, shake hands with modesty and humbleness regardless of the outcome. Your mouth will never win you anything.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. That doesn’t mean you’re always going to do the right thing, but at the end of the day you’ll sleep better if you know you set out trying to do the right thing.

That piece of advice doesn’t apply to parenting. It’s still hard to sleep at night when you make mistakes and do the wrong things despite having the best intentions.

After all, we’re all a work in progress.

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 13-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 10-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.