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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seasons of Change

I have a boy. I have two, actually, but there's this one...he's the one we're going to talk about today. It doesn't matter which one he is - if you know us well at all, you'll figure out which one he is. This one...

...is a trailblazer, in his quiet, understated, passive-aggressive way.

He listens to math lectures, and then tries to find another way to do his problems. That would be great, except that his way tends to take twice as long and result in half the accuracy. And then he has to go back and do it the boring correct way and gets all the answers right in half the time and will still try his way tomorrow.

He learns all the correct foundational strokes in his tennis class and then watches a professional player do it differently, and without asking for any input from the professional tennis teachers that we pay rather handsomely, completely changes how he does those foundational strokes. That would be great, except that then he has to start all over, learning how to do it correctly the new way, and that results in much frustration and despair because he can't quite get the serve in like he used to, but by golly he looks cool.

Don't get me wrong - I'm glad he wants to blaze trails...I am all for the big ideas and the bold moves. But here's the thing...in order to blaze new trails, it's helpful to have traveled a little longer. It's a good idea to become completely familiar with the known maps of the area - with the survival techniques you need in order to make it through the process. I KNOW he wants to be his own man and do things his way, and I don't want to squash that in him, but it's just not time yet, little man.

I promise, son, you'll know when it's time, and when it is...I promise to buy you a brand new machete for hacking your way through the underbrush. Until then, though, save up your energy and just cruise along on the path others have paved for you-I'm exhausted with pulling you out of the briars.