Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dad/Son Learn Together - Pt. 2

(Continued from April 10, 2010) ..... So, how did I learn that your kids NEED to have you at their events? Well, believe it or not, I learned from a first-hand experience with my own dad, who once blew me off at one of my important events ..... but then made sure that he never repeated the act. Here are the details:

I had spent all of my childhood involved in a variety of activities, mostly baseball, bowling, basketball, and music. In addition, there were the usual scouting activities, school plays, meetings, etc., that kids always have in their lives.

My parents ALWAYS attended ALL of my events. While some kids had their parents dump them off and return to pick them up, my parents always drove me to the event, stayed for the whole event, and patiently waited for me to drive me home. Yes, I was lucky to be loved and supported by both of my parents.

Of course, there were some events that were missed, mostly by my dad, as he could not get off of work in time for 3:30 p.m. basketball games and, on the rare occasions that he had to be out of town, he would have to miss other events, too. One baseball season, he had to miss every single game, except for one, as he was stationed about 400 miles away for about 10 weeks, although he was able to come home for one weekend and, yes, he was able to see my game!

That was a tough season for me and, as I later learned, it was tough for him, too. But, my mom made sure that she was at every single event. Yes, again, I was lucky to be loved and supported by my parents!

I should also point out that my parents were often the ringleaders of many of my events. While I engaged in music, basketball, and bowling on my own with other instructors, my dad always managed my baseball teams and my mom was a scout leader! (More about benefits of leading your child’s activities in a future blog).

HOWEVER, the moment of the GREAT LEARNING ACT, occurred when I was 14-years-old, a moment that helped to form an important part of my parenting views that still hold true today – over 35 years later! This one act also helped me to form my views that I have passed along to others about the need to attend the events of their children.

My middle school band was planning to hold its annual spring concert on a Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. I had a small solo and I was excited to be able to perform it for my parents. Of course, when playing percussion, wherein there is only one player per instrument, one could argue that everything was a solo for me, as I was the only player on an instrument at a given moment!

Well, the big day came and, as usual, my parents and I went to the car and drove to the concert. We walked in together, with my parents heading for the auditorium as I headed to the band room for the pre-concert warm-up. As always, I was exited to be able to perform for my parents, as I knew that they supported me and this was a manner in which I could give back. Ah yes, while I truly believed that life could not get any better, I had no idea that it was about to get substantially worse.

I proudly walked on stage with the band, got ready for the first piece of music to be performed, looked up at the audience to find my parents, and there was my mom, front and center in her usual place! I looked next to her for my dad and ..... he was not there. Oh well, I figured that he had probably run to the restroom or something.

(Please come back next Saturday for Part 3)

Paul W. Reeves

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