I’ve heard it said that parenting is a lot like surfing. One moment, we can be in the midst of serene, calm waters, peacefully floating in the sea of harmony; the next, we are immersed in an enormous riptide, trying desperately to keep our heads above water. I’ve actually never been surfing, but this sounds about right. If you are a parent reading this, you know all too well the ebb and flow of the parenting journey.
This past weekend I had quite an interesting experience flying back to Arizona from a conference I attended. I had to catch a connecting flight in Los Angeles and after a long flight I was a little bleary eyed, but grateful to be making it home.
Recently, while tucking our sweet daughter in bed, she needed some re-assuring as the next day was the first day of school for her after an eventful summer and she was feeling a little trepidation inside.
Recently, I came across the quote from the Chinese philosopher Lao-Tze: “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
Recently while traveling, I was listening to a local AM radio station. In between the jazz tunes that were being shared, the radio announcer enjoyed sharing heartwarming stories or quick snippets that uplift the human spirit. The announcer had a deep and silky voice and his delivery was calming, almost as if I was sitting fireside with him for story time.
A visitor named Gulan came to visit a wise man in a remote village. This visitor, Gulan, wanted to demonstrate his own amazing insight and intended to upstage the wise man. Gulan announced to the village that he intended to overpower the wise man in a public debate.
I have always enjoyed this time of year. Even as a child growing up in Chicago, fall afternoons meant playing baseball with a sweatshirt on or running through piles of fallen leaves, some of which were raked quite neatly and I mischievously found joy in rummaging through those piles as well.
About once a month my daughter and I have a very sweet daddy/daughter ritual that we have followed for the last six years. Typically on a lazy weekend afternoon, we drive over to the Ahwatukee Foothills Car Wash off Ray Road and when we get the car washed we grab a delicious, all natural fruit Popsicle. I tend to go with the piña colada flavor, especially in the hot Arizona summers when I like to imagine being in a tropical environment. My daughter tends to go with good-old natural strawberry and the little seeds are actually in the Popsicle. My daughter reminds me of this fact every time we go and I respond with enthusiasm and amazement as though this is new information.
I had the nicest experience recently in Philadelphia. I just flew overnight to be able to work with some athletes in the morning, and as I arrived at my hotel there was a tremendous amount of activity and security near the entrance of the hotel.