My wife and I have 3 children - I love them all, for many similar and different reasons. Are they perfect? No. Are they the best kids in the world? No. Do they do what they are told? Sometimes....... maybe. Are they keepers? Yes.
I want many things for each of them as they grow older. The obvious things like good health and success in what they do are a given. I also want them to be teachable. Sure they learn things at school, at home, from their friends, from the TV and online. With that there are things I really don't think they need to know now at the various stages they are in life.
But if they can always be teachable - meaning able to learn lessons from things that happen or that they do, particularly if they apply what they learn to being better at whatever - then I will be happier.
My son shed some tears this weekend. Been a while since I have seen him cry and was the first time I had seen him cry after a soccer game. He played hard, he played well, his team also played really hard and well - they dominated the opposing team that was bigger and faster than them. But they lost, on a fluke goal, scored with an assist by the strong wind and a missed call by the ref.
They deserved to win, they were more skilled than the other team and wanted it more. I wanted it more. I too was frustrated by the time the game ended. Not just because they lost and they deserved a better result. But because my kid put everything he had into the game, in our opinion it was the best he ever played, yet the result wasn't favorable.
And so, in the car for the ride home, he sat in the back, head under his jacket, he cried. When we got home, he went alone to his room, closed his door, cried some more. We have learned that our kids sometimes just need to cry - get it out. Makes them feel better.
After he was done, while I had been thinking of what more to say to him: Blame the wind, blame the ref's, the other team looked like they had kids way older than they were allowed, my son's team didn't have any subs - so all 11 players played the entire game - and wore out. Plenty could be said - surely I could say something to make him feel better.
I gave him a hug, a big hug. He cried a little more. He hugged me back. I kept hugging cause I didn't want him to see that I was maybe crying a little too.
And then he farted - hug was instantly over, tears replaced by laughter. Teachable moment was gone and was replaced by a need for payback.
However, I didn't really need to say anything else then - although later we did talk some more.
The lesson - I dunno, can go in all sorts of directions here. The one I choose: hug the ones you love. Sometimes a hug is better than any words or other actions.