Category Archive:

Version 2.0: The Upgrade

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I often refer to my son as BpD 2.0 because I con­sider him to be the upgraded model of myself. I think about his life and all of the things that I will fight to pro­vide for him. Where I went to the local uni­ver­sity I will make sure he has the oppor­tu­nity to go to an Ivy League insti­tu­tion, if he chooses. Things it took me thirty years to learn I will work to teach him in fif­teen, if he chooses to learn.

I look at my son and some­times I find myself envy­ing him. He will go places that I can only imag­ine because I will work to make sure of that. My goal is to launch him in the stratos­phere and watch as his tal­ents and abil­i­ties take him fur­ther than my mea­ger measure.

It may seem odd that I say “envy.” I can admit it. I wish I had the oppor­tu­ni­ties I will pro­vide for him. That’s why I will do all I can to pro­vide them for him. He deserves every­thing I could ever give him and then some.

But as I write these lines I real­ize that as much as my son is the upgraded ver­sion of me, I am the upgraded ver­sion of my father. Already I’ve gone far­ther than my father in many, many respects. And although he’s no longer with me, I know with­out a doubt that he is still root­ing me on. Just last night I dreamed that he met my wife and smiled from ear to ear because he approve of her.

And so, I will push my son even fur­ther in what­ever direc­tion he chooses. Why? Because my father would do the same for me. Every father should do that for his children.

Then I real­ized. My son isn’t ver­sion 2.0 of me; he’s ver­sion 3.0 of my father. The legacy continues.

Love you dada.

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Graduation Day

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20110506-100758.jpgThis morn­ing I will be grad­u­at­ing with a Master’s of Arts in Inter­na­tional Rela­tions. Through­out the pro­gram I had no inten­tions of walk­ing in a cer­e­mony because I wasn’t excited about the accom­plish­ment. Don’t get me wrong; I am very excited about the edu­ca­tion and mov­ing on to a PhD, but at a cer­tain age I think we begin to not want atten­tion on our mile­stones. It’s almost like turn­ing 30. After that birth­day you really aren’t excited about telling peo­ple how old you are.

All of this changed one day recently when I thought about the fact that my son will be there to see me grad­u­ate! Sud­denly, not only was I excited but I was finally proud of my accom­plish­ment. It’s amaz­ing what chil­dren do for us. In many ways this was a trans­for­ma­tive moment.

He won’t under­stand what’s going on around him; he’s only four months old. Nev­er­the­less, hav­ing him there is one of my proud­est moments. I’m con­fi­dent that the pride I’m feel­ing today will be dwarfed by the pride I will feel when he takes his first step, or when he says his first word.

I’m look­ing for­ward to putting my cap and hood on him and tak­ing pic­tures of my future grad­u­ate. The accom­plish­ment is as much his as it is mine.

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Family Day

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I grew up in a large fam­ily. I have three sis­ters and two broth­ers. My par­ents raised us all so there were many days when all eight of us were at the din­ner table talk­ing about the hap­pen­ings of the day. I con­sider us to be closely-knit; how­ever, in recent years I’ve noticed that we really don’t spend much time together. The major­ity of us live less than 20 min­utes away from each other, yet we may only see each other once a month. What’s more we don’t talk on the phone much at all. Nev­er­the­less, I still feel as though we are a very close to one another.

Today was chal­leng­ing day. Sun­days usu­ally are for me; but today was more-so than the aver­age. By the time I got home all I wanted to do was be with fam­ily. My wife had din­ner ready and my son was enjoy­ing his newly learned tech­nique: rolling over from his back to his stom­ach. All of a sud­den I had the urge to call all of my imme­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers. You’re prob­a­bly won­der­ing why this is blog wor­thy. Good ques­tion; I’m glad you asked.

Friday-past I spoke of not being able to enjoy the com­fort of a gloomy Fri­day after­noon because of my pas­sion and drive to always get up a work—even on a day that one should obvi­ously enjoy in bed with one’s sweet­heart. Today, my drive drove me into the ground. I’m phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally drained—for many rea­sons that aren’t worth dis­cussing. But what is worth dis­cussing is the beauty of hav­ing loved-ones who love you sim­ply because you are you. You don’t have to do any­thing spe­cial to impress them. You don’t have to worry about them accept­ing you because they already do.

When I called each of my sib­lings they each had a com­fort­able & casual con­ver­sa­tion for me—as though we talked every­day. That’s the beauty of rela­tion­ships that are sus­tained sim­ply by the love between them. The fact that we rarely see each other, or the fact that we don’t talk every­day, didn’t—and doesn’t—affect our con­nec­tion. And so I’ve real­ized, yet again, how impor­tant it is to unplug from your drive every-now-and-then to sim­ply enjoy the com­pany of your family—no busi­ness, no agen­das, and no drive—just family.

I don’t know what your rela­tion­ship is with your fam­ily mem­bers. It could be that you are estranged. Maybe you have no liv­ing fam­ily.  Nev­er­the­less, you should strive to have at least one per­son in your life that wants noth­ing from you other than to love you. You need at least one per­son that isn’t con­cerned with how many times you called them—or if you called them at all. There has to be some­one who isn’t con­cerned with your accom­plish­ments or your failures—all they care about is you, your hap­pi­ness, and your well-being.

I’m lucky enough that the peo­ple in my life who fill this role are my fam­ily mem­bers. They had been there all along, and as long as they are liv­ing I know they will always be there for me. And some­where between try­ing to con­quer myself and take on the chal­lenges of the world, I have to be sure to recharge my life by tak­ing the time out for a good, old-fashioned fam­ily day.

 

Posted in: Family

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