July 11, 2009

My How Time Flies When You Are Having Fun, Part 1

We've all heard many times how important it is to "Cherish every minute you have with your children when they are young." We've been told, "They grow up so fast." We've heard about all those people who spend so much time at work they miss seeing their children grow up. CEOs have written about how work damaged relationships with their spouse and their children. They write about missing soccer games, little league baseball games, dance recitals and band concerts. Everything I've heard and read indicates this is bad. It's bad to miss out on seeing your children grow up.

I'm here to tell you I'm not so sure all the people who write and speak about this topic are correct. I am one of those fathers who believed what I read and what I heard. I very rarely missed a band concert or a soccer game. I made decisions about my job based on my kids and their schedules. I spent every free minute I had with them. Every summer from about age 5 we took separate vacations. One with each kid. Looking back, I think I made a lot of life's decisions based on my kids. To be honest, I don't regret it at all, and if I may say so myself, they turned out pretty darn good. Which brings me back to my point about the message we heard from all the pundits. The reason I think they are wrong is because when they grow up, if you have followed all the advice, it's very hard to let them go.

Next month, my son Brandon, goes to college. He'll only be 45 minutes away from home, but it might as well be 1000 miles. I am dreading the day I have to take him up there, help him unpack, and then leave him there. In earlier posts, I have described our relationship. He is my buddy. He is my companion at basketball and college hockey games. He and I just got home from bowling in a league we've bowled in every summer for the past several years. He golfs with me, shoots hoops with me, and torments me every chance he gets. We just got back from 4 days together in Crested Butte, this year's summer vacation. Because I believed what I read and heard, taking him to college is going to be very difficult.

On July 3rd, I traveled to Boulder Colorado. My daughter Lauren graduated from the University of Colorado in May. She continued to live in Boulder this summer. She is one of those fortunate college graduates who actually got a job immediately after graduation. She got her dream job. Lauren is a talented writer with a degree in Journalism. Check out her blog at http://theoffbeatreport.com/wordpress/. Lauren was the Editor-in-Chief of the CU online newspaper and spends her days on the internet, blogging, tweeting, Facebook status updating, etc. etc. Lauren got her dream job at Context Optional http://www.contextoptional.com where she is required to work on websites, tweet, blog, and do all the things she loves doing, for a salary. Context Optional is located in San Francisco, coincidentally, the city Lauren dreamed of living in. So on July 3rd, I was traveling to Boulder to rent a Penske truck, load it up with all Lauren's belongings, and drive her out to San Francisco to live and work 1268 miles away.

And because I believed all the things I read and heard, this trip was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. The thought of her being 1268 miles away.... The thought of her meeting a boy, getting married and my grandchildren living 1268 miles away.... The fact that we are so close and her being 1268 miles away... This was a very hard drive. I think this was so hard because I believed what I read and heard. We left from Boulder on Friday and I flew home the following Wednesday. Its taken me since then to even be able to start writing about it. In future posts I'll share some thoughts, some photos, and the story of our journey to San Francisco. Stay tuned.

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TheBAFSignal by Bradley A. Friedman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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