Could It All Be About Doing Something You Love?

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Today is the first father’s day for me without my own father. I know that wherever my father is he knows he did the absolute best he could for his family, NO questions asked. When I was 5 years old and said I wanted to be a dentist….no questions asked. I know that I would be nothing today had it not been for my dad’s immense support and love.

So, my reflection this morning (as my two boys still sleep in after staying up way past my bedtime) is what kind of job have I been doing as a father? My wife and I have been blessed with two boys, Josh age 21 and Joey age 17.

Let me start with Joey this time. It is funny how yesterday my wife Janis described Joey as the Pigpen (from Peanuts fame) in our family. And it is true. Even as a little child we would say that the minute Joey got out of the shower he was covered in dust again. Never found a mess he couldn’t make. But Joey was a great little athlete and we loved to watch him play youth football and basketball in the Parks and Rec leagues when he was in elementary school. But he had an even more incredible talent…..he could remember lines from movies he had seen only once and it could have been years before. And my wife and I always said that .Joey was not destined for a 9-5 desk or book type of job.

Fast forward to high school and Joey wanted to play football, and he did. Before his junior year he had a dilemma because the theatre teacher wanted him to be in the performance group…..but you couldn’t do football and theatre so he chose football. After the season ended Joey decided that while he appreciated all the physical exercise and development he had attained in football that he was going to concentrate on theatre. It is something he loves and he wants to pursue as a career. And where was he this Friday during summer vacation …at school reading a play that perhaps they will do next semester.

Let’s talk about Josh now. Josh started the family tradition of the parks and rec leagues playing flag football or basketball. And Josh did whatever the teams needed without asking any questions. Perhaps the best part of watching him play was the constant dialogue he would have with the officials…they just loved him. He was usually the smallest on the field…but he gave it his all…always with a smile on his face.

When he was in junior high he started taking bass lessons and he eventually asked if we would support his decision if he wanted to be a professional musician. Figuring it was a phase we said sure. Today he is a senior at CSUN majoring in music business, still intent on being a professional musician. Josh is learning through the school of hard knocks that there will be lots of disappointments in his chosen profession…but he does not care. He loves to play music and he works at it as hard as he can.

Have I been the world’s best father…no way. I have made more than my fair share of mistakes. And I admit there are times I just don’t get the thought patterns of the younger generation. One of the things I learned from my father was to let your children follow their dreams. And as you can see both my boys picked some highly competitive fields (what isn’t these days). But life is hard enough on its own, why not try and do something that you love for the rest of your life.

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