Plus, a bunch of other happenings and updates’ish.
Moment #1: A man makes his way out of the dining hall to say…
It was December 22nd, 2018. We had all gathered together, several branches of our nuclear paternal family, to meet together for an early Christmas dinner and visit with my grandparents.
Sadly, at this stage, they haven’t been doing that well and have been needing a lot of help — physically, emotionally, mentally. I guess, it’s normal. And, it’s normal for me to just feel a bit down and sad about the situation. Watching loved ones age and age out of their own self… it’s rough.
Well, during our dinner — somewhere towards the end of the meal; at where my grandparents are living we eat a large dining hall. There was a resident who stood up in the middle of this dining hall and made his way out and over to talk to me.
I mean… I’m in my mid-30s… I shouldn’t have any feelings of precariousness or worry when folks approach me. Right?
Well… that’s not even close to true. I totally thought he was going to confront me about something I did wrong that I wasn’t even aware of.
LOL! Oi… FORTUNATELY…. he came up to me (and, mind you… he’s significantly taller than me and is my senior — which automatically positions him with respect in my mind)… and, he says to me:
“You’re a good father.”
Then, this man looked at Nathan, pointed to him as he locked eyes with my boy and he said:
“You have have a really good dad.”
He had been quietly observing my interactions with Nathan throughout this entire dinner. And, during this time, Nathan and I were playing, snuggling, joking, laughing, and generally enjoying each other in the best ways we know how.
So, Yes… it’s good to remember how and why I came down this insane startup entrepreneur, traveling speaker, social media connecting, work at home path.
Moment #2: My son wants to grow up to be a daddy.
I like to have conversations about the future with my son. I do this regularly when we drive together, just me and him; and, when we play together — typically some imaginary Star Wars, Avengers, Legos, or dinosaur oriented game.
I asked Nathan one day:
Nathan… what do you want to be when you grow up?
In the past, he’s said paleontologist, kid chef (as in Master Chef Junior), a firefighter, a police officer, an airplane pilot… What was his answer? AND… has been his answer for the last several months?
I want to grow up and be a daddy.—said Nathan
Nathan wants to be me. I didn’t think about this much until I talked about this with my wife. Christina’s insight was incredible. She said something to the effect that:
Kids typically want to grow up and become what their parents profession is or was at the time.
Your son wants to become a dad. That is who you are to him and that is the profession you embody. Not a doctor, not a business owner, not a marketer — a Daddy.—Christina Fung, Super Mom & Hero Wife
Moment #3: Daddy, Show Some Grit!
I had this really telling conversation with a bunch of great colleagues… extended family, really, of the Physical Therapy profession (#PTfam) — this conversation happened in Chicago during the American Physical Therapy Association’s NEXT conference of 2019 — which I just had returned from… (which will be expanded on in Moment #4)
So, here’s the backdrop: One day years ago, I came across some stunning wrist pain — humbling to say the least. After all, what Physical Therapist can’t “cure their own pain?”
LOL! Yeah… it was humbling and actually got in the way of me doing push ups, doing certain movements in Jiu Jitsu, didn’t really hinder my Muay Thai — but did change the way I got in and out of bed, and, on and off the floor. It was an annoyance I learned to otherwise live with and had tried to self-treat many times… to no avail.
WELL…. I was sharing this story with my #PTfam and we’re all clinical geeks, of course. And, I was telling them that if there’s one thing I could impart upon my son as a life skill… I want it to be GRIT. (more on this in a TED talk, linked and embedded below)
We all knew what I meant by “grit.” And, the situation unfolded where I wanted to try push ups again this Spring of 2019. I had just spent several days teaching and reciting with Nathan…
What is Grit?
Never give up. Finish the job.
Well.. this time, Nathan was watching me try some push ups and I stopped and flicked my wrist in pain. I said, “Ah… ouch.”
Nathan looked at me with focused and determined eyes… he said to me:
Daaaaaad… Show Some GRIT!
I had no choice. I had to do it. So, after a few more fairly painful reps… the pain in my left wrist went away. Annnnnd… it has not yet come back. In fact, I’m back to doing sets of push ups and even did a few sets in my hotel room in Chicago at the conference. There’s a bunch of science on how and why this happened… but, we won’t get into that today 🙂
In any case, if you want to learn more about grit and how it’s the SINGULAR PREDICTOR of a student’s (and, perhaps… a person’s) future success… Check out this clip — it’s queued up 😉
Moment #4: Debating on a national platform.
So… on to #4. Many of you reading this know that I was one of the Oxford Debate captains on topic of social media at the 2019 APTA NEXT conference in Chicago.
It was a HUGE honor.
Every year, this conference hosts a debate that’s a blend of a stage show as much as it is a statement within the profession with aims of bringing up points from both sides of the resolution / argument — to provoke critical thought, that those who may have started out in support or in opposition might even switch sides by the end of the experience.
Well… it wasn’t so much the entire conference experience that was my Moment #4 as much as it was leading up to the conference. I hadn’t gone on business travels for quite some time since the last one, and so, my son didn’t need to deal with the emotional facts of me leaving in recent months’ memory.
As the day for my initial flight approached, poor Nathan got more and more attached to me and kept telling him how much he’d miss me. Of course, I told him why I had to travel for work and how important the platform is — that being asked in an immense honor and privilege.
In any case, I went on to ask him what he wanted me to bring back to him from the trip.
His response was too sweet:
I just want you daddy… and, a toy!Because, I always bring him back some type of souvenir from the airports I visit. LOL! Apparently, his receptive love language right now is Gifts.
It’s not so much what he said, but how he said it — he wasn’t impressed by my position nor station, he yearned for my return and to receive the expression of love he feels is most tangible at his age and for this circumstance.
It may seem small, but having your kid want you around is a huge deal to me — it tells me I’m doing something right, that he is covetous of his time with me — which means, that I’m spending the right type of time with him…. and, I hope to only do more of this in the days to come 🙂
And, now… a bunch of stuff from Instagram.
PS. Don’t miss the really sweet moments of the “Secret Swing” video at the bottom 😉
LAST, AND CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…
I suppose this is just one big tell all post for me to journal for me, for me to chronicle for Nathan… and, for those of you looking to embark on a journey like ours… that it’s possible, it’s enjoyable, it’s not always certain… but, it IS certainly worth it 🙂