Saturday, September 4, 2010

Deep Question For My Son

So I was swinging beside my 8 year old boy at a park today when I thought I would impulsively ask him a deep question. I'm continually amazed at his insightful responses. Today I tried a personal one. I turned to him casually and said "Riker, what do you want from me?"

He looked at me thoughtfully and then started thinking out loud. "Well . . . I guess it depends how you mean it." He was looking for clarification but I decided not to give him any. "That's true, " I said in that vague, counselor way that doesn't mean anything but invites more.

"I guess the biggest thing is your love," he said after a a moment or two of silence. I thought that was cool and it reminded me again how important it is to show your kids that you love them. Love is the most basic of all our needs and we tend to wither when we don't receive it. Then he gave me another answer. "Also, I want you to teach me things." Hmmm . . . interesting. Just the other day I was talking with a friend about how, even as adults, we crave to learn from our Dads. We want to learn from them, to be handed down important knowledge. "So what kind of things I asked?"

"I'd like you to help me with my homework. Sometimes I have lots to do and Mommy is too busy. And you usually are there but don't help. I'd like your help more." Ouch! That kind of hurt. I'm gone alot in the evenings since that is the time that most of my clients are available. I don't remember being home and having him ask me for assistance before but maybe he has. He is now. I mentally commit myself to being more available to help with that stuff. "I'd also like you to teach me how to survive in the outdoors." I liked this one more. Can I teach him this? Perhaps - I think I could help him survive for a few days at least! I have always felt a desire to pass on my love and knowledge (as little as it is) of outdoor things to Riker and he seems to instinctively want that very thing as well. Very cool.

I liked Riker's answers, he was open and honest about what he thought, felt, and wanted. If you ever feel things are getting a bit too shallow in your relationship with someone then try something different. Why not humbly ask them that simple question "What do you want from me?" More often then not you'll be amazed at the answers and the connection this particular conversation can foster.


Jobina said...

I'm always amazed at how Riker can verbalize what he feels, what amazing answers!

Michele said...

Mark, you inspire me to be a better parent. Thank you!