One of these days, it will sink in. Especially when the words come from my own son.
He’s said it before multiple times and I’ve blown it off. That’s nice, I would smile. Now go clean your room. Get to bed. We’ve got more important things to do.
But last night, he said it again, from his bed, shortly before drifting off to sleep. I was ready to walk out of the room when he called me over one more time. The room was dark and I knelt close to him so I could hear him, my head inches from his face while he talked in quiet tones.
I just got through telling him what I loved about him. Wasn’t expecting him to respond in kind. Wasn’t expecting the level of sincerity, and how the words would hit me hard.
His message? You don’t know how good you are, dad.
You’re more than just a blogger, he said.
You’re more than a columnist, he said. You could have an audience that reaches the whole world. You make people laugh. You make them cry. You have a way with details.
“You’re a legend,” he said.
My first thought: This 14-year-old speaks fluent hyperbole. I need him to run my dad PR firm whenever I get in trouble with mom. What teen tells something like that to their parent?
Wonder what would happen if I saw myself the way he sees me. I bet things would be different. Bet I wouldn’t flounder as much as I feel I do.
After he was done, I thanked him. I told him I needed his help to never settle for mediocrity, to always reach for the stars.
And if he already feels that way about me, then in a way, I’ve already succeeded.