When a Father Gives To His Son

I am a father. I have two sons.

Have you seen this image on Facebook?

father_son_image_facebook

 I’ve seen it a number of times.  The first time it impacted me was when my cousin (hey cous!!) posted it and made reference to her dad (Hey Uncle Ken!).  Uncle Ken is an awesome guy, and a very giving father.  When I saw his daughter post it, and say this was her dad, I was like “totally.”

Except, one thing bothered me.  I know that in giving parts of himself, Ken is not left with holes.  Ken is fulfilled. That’s just how Ken is, and I can’t imagine him any other way.

I have “given” things as a father.  According to articles I’ve read, having kids is super expensive… to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per kid. I think those numbers are ridiculous… have these journalists/researches ever bought anything on sale? Or at a consignment store?  I’m not saying you have to be cheap with your kid, but you can spend a couple of bucks to get your kid a brand name shirt (which I think wear nicer than new cheap no-brand clothes) at a thrift store instead of $20, $50, or more from a normal store.

Sorry, this really isn’t a post about disputing the ridiculous “cost” of having a kid… or at the least the articles that seem to be written to scare people away from having kids, because they are unaffordable.

I want to talk about the image above, where a dad gives himself to build (or compensate for differences) his sons (and really, daughters).  I love the message. But something is… missing.

When I think about the times I’ve given of myself to my kids, I don’t think that it is taking a part of me, at all.  Ever.

Oh sure, there was the time when we changed the sheets four times during one night because our baby kept throwing up… the first three were in her crib, the last time was in our bed (bleh!).  I gave up deep sleep, but really, how would anyone NOT give that up for the health, safety, and comfort of their child?

Yeah, there was the time where I gave up my clothes, again and again, when a kid somehow got them messy.  From spit up to throw up, I’ve changed my shirt more than once.  Small sacrifice, I guess.

I’ve given up my time, my “guy nights,” and plenty of money (which isn’t “mine,” It’s more like “ours”).

Understand, I don’t look at my life and think that, or feel like, I have given up much. As I think about it, I honestly can’t think of a time when I have given something that I regret.

Let me put it another way, because this is not about giving and regretting.

Anytime I have given to my kids, I feel like it was giving to me.

That’s what’s missing from the picture.  Giving is not a zero sum game.  Giving isn’t “when I give this to you, I lose something.”

As a dad, when I give, I get. I get fulfilled, I get joy. The miracle of giving, just like loving, is that you are not eroding.  You are adding.

No, wait…

You are not adding, you are multiplying.

I love the picture, but I wish it somehow showed that the sacrifice doesn’t result in a father that is becoming nothing, rather that he is getting so much more than he ever gave.

At least, that is how it is for me.

 

 

Fascinating documentary on gardening: Back to Eden

Have you seen Back to Eden?  Are you into or interested in gardening?

You gotta check this video out … I’ve watched the first half and have it queued up to watch the whole thing.

Here’s the documentary on Vimeo.

Avoiding startup failure

This is an excellent article by VC Mark Suster:

How to Decrease the Odds That Your Startup Fails

Good timing to read this while I’m starting a new venture (still withing JibberJobber).

3 Domains No One Wanted?

I had a phrase idea last week as I was reaching out to someone… it’s funny because this seemed like a phrase that is totally common and used.  Used in a sentence, the phrase might look like this:

“It’s time to get to work, and put finger to keyboard.”

Recognize where that might have come from?  How about pen to paper, or pencil to paper?

Being the guy I am, I went to my domain tool to see if anyone else had thought of and bought fingertokeyboard.com. It is available!  Out of curiosity, I checked pentopaper.com and penciltopaper.com, too, and they are both available.

I don’t have a business that would use any of those three, like a writing business (resumes, editing, marketing, copywrite, etc.), so they aren’t for me.  But in this world where it seems like every domain has been acquired by someone else, I was surprised to see all three of these free.

And, it made me wonder if I’m alone in this thinking (which validates that I’m a weird thinker :p).

Twitter, LI, JJ: how to make them bigger and better

Here’s an excellent write-up about how Twitter could be more awesome:

How Twitter could be 10X bigger, 100X more profitable, and 1000X more awesome

Elements from this could apply to many businesses… very cool stuff.

Advice for youth to make money

This post has profanity in it, so read it and if you want, edit it out before giving it to your kids.  Otherwise, it’s a great post by one of my favorite authors.

The best advice I gave my teenage daughter who wants to make money

And this advice is not just for kids. I’ve given similar advice to adults… read it :)

Python: Why?

Jesse swears by it. Chad is enthusiastically learning it.  I didn’t know much about it.  This article helps put things into perspective:

10 Reasons Python Rocks for Research (And a Few Reasons it Doesn’t)

Grammar research: thereof vs. therein

Because of my writing, and Pluralsight course research, I regularly find myself wondering if I’m using the right word, phrase, etc.  I’ll pull up a couple of dozen grammar-related searches when I’m in the thick of researching something… today I found a really cool resource while trying to figure out if I should use thereof or therein.

What are the easiest examples to understand how “therein”, “thereupon”, “thereunder”, etc. are used?

Thanks to Raj Bhuptani, who wrote an easy to understand guide on what there____ means, and how and when to use it.

And, for the record, I chose to use thereof instead of therein :)

Brilliant: The Website Obesity Crisis

The Website Obesity Crisis: longer-than-normal, but seriously brilliant.

More Startup Employee Thoughts

Here’s another fascinating article about working for a startup: Candid Advice For Those Joining The Startup World: Sleep With One Eye Open

This is long, but worth the read if you are considering working at a startup.

The author wrote an ebook, which is currently priced at $85, titled How to Engineer Your Layoff. The idea is to get a package that is worth something awesome. My package was pretty lame, and I know my company would not have done anything more than what they did.  But I bet this $85 is a terrific investment if you work for a company or people with integrity.