Monday, May 30, 2016
HOLD ON TIGHT
The stuff I make, the work I do, the gray hair that sprouts up like spring tulips, all stems from my son.
Had he never been born, I would probably be doing some schleppy job that I merely tolerated in an effort to sustain my own life.
6 years ago I was handed a "reason".
A reason to do better, a reason to want more, a reason to be a better man.
If you're a parent...you get it. If you're not, well, it's a whole different world for you.
During the most trying times it's his smile that gives me strength to push on. In good times, it's that same smile that is the reward I get from the fruits of my labor.
The work I do at the shop is easy.
I can navigate personalities, overcome lack of or equipment/machinery issues, and any other situation that may arise there. It's when I come home that the real work begins.
I have to be sure that I don't send another fucking self-centered asshole out into the world.
I'm trying to give my boy a head start by teaching him from all of my mistakes that I've made over the last 44 years, and how to avoid making those same mistakes.
That, my friends, is the real work, because god knows that I have made a metric shit ton of mistakes.
Sometimes all the work that I've put into this boy manifests itself. He may show an act of kindness to a stranger, he may show empathy, sometimes he'll drop some knowledge on ME (which is hard to do, because in case you didn't know, I clearly know everything.)
His mom dropped him off at the shop one day and we were going to Target straight from there. I was exhausted and decided to stop at Starbucks. Max got his Pumpkin Bread, and I got a regular old coffee.
I took a sip, made a face like I just smelled the most wretched of farts and said "god this coffee is horrible!"
My son...my 6 year old son...says to me "you say that everytime...I don't know why you get that coffee, it's always gonna suck."
In that brief moment, I had just witnessed myself, schooling myself, from the lips of a 6 year old boy.
A very brief conversation with a 6 year old boy had just validated all my work.
In that moment, I knew this boy was gonna be just fine.
As he grows...I grow.
We're beyond wiping asses, and now I'm able to learn from him from time to time.
Lately, I've learned to BE in the moment, and BE present in all that is going on no matter how mundane or tedious it may seem to be to a "age defined" adult.
When a child invites you into their world, to their moments, to their joys and pains....you had better fucking show up, because if you don't...you lose.
Time steals moments like a gypsy steals wallets at a Romanian train station.
Hold on to your moments.
Hold on tight.