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August 1, 2010 / zitterbewegung

The cycles of growing up

Like my Father bestowed upon me some moons ago, I too tell my Son that, “Common Sense is Uncommon.” Being a father now for nearly 18 years I’ve come to find that what my Dad was telling me about hard work, responsibility, and good judgement, was in fact truth. This brings me to the question, “Does anyone really ever grow up?”

I sent the majority of my Son Matt’s teen years as more the roll of a friend than Father. I personally grew up in a situation where you were expected to know how to conduct yourself in social event, etc. So in essence I had enormous freedom with the ranks of responsiblity at close bay. I think you have to give your Kids this kind of leverage if you expect an adult to emerge from the years of trials. Naturally my wife thinks I’m too much a buddy and not enough an enforcer. I think that using intimidation or trickery and deception are bad parenting.

My wife’s Father passed when she was 6, so she pretty much was raised by her mother (and sometimes older sister and her husband). She has an incredibly sheltered upbringing. I meet her at 23 and her mom had her name on a joint checking account with my wife. She also was still living with her mom when we dated. I was out on my own officially at 17, kinda the work and shack with whoever I could until I jonined the Air Force at 19.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to realize that a lot of growing up is knowing when to be a kid. So growing up really doesn’t mean always taking a mature and responsible attitude and being ultra serious all the time, it means you know when and where you do and don’t have to do this. For the youth, this is a matter of induction and training. For the advanced in years, it’s a matter of timing.

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