Today my colleague Jeremey DuVall wrote a post called Highs & Lows of Leading a Team, if you’re not following him already you certainly should. The feelings he wrote about are certainly ones I’ve been feeling recently at work. Like many business / leadership books and articles I’ve read there are many comparisons I can make to parenting.
Parenting is certainly a series of ups and downs as well, except recently I’ve been stuck in the completely incompetent area. Some would say I had it coming as 20 years ago I was making my mother feel the same way that I am right now. At the age of 17 I left home and moved in with friends. For years I barely spoke to her. Spent my time blaming her for what I perceived as a rough childhood, thinking I was so much smarter than her. How arrogant.
Now fast forward 20 years I’m going through essentially the same thing with my oldest. As much as I tried to protect her from making the same mistakes and wrong choices I made it doesn’t seem to have worked. She’s at least doing better than I was at that age, she’s at least living with her mother instead of staying with friends and spending some nights sleeping in 24 hour Tim Hortons. The choices I made back then caused me to take two years more than it should have to complete high school and come very close to getting myself into some real trouble. It was the news of my daughter coming a long that finally caused me to straighten myself out. That makes this all the more painful.
She was able to help me through a dangerous period of my life and I wasn’t able to protect her from seeming to head down a similar road to the one that I was once on. She’s not there yet though and I’m hoping she can change course before it really effects her life in ways that are difficult to come back from. While I can learn to live with her not talking to me as long as she is happy and safe, I’m hopeful that she will have a change of heart, and sooner than I did at that age.
To my Mother, even though I’ve done it in the past I want to apologize again for the trouble that I gave you and the heart ache I must have caused. Having some experience being a parent now it’s obvious to me you make the best decisions you can. I’m far from perfect so my decisions won’t always be the right ones, but I know, like you, I’ve made them all with the best intensions.
To my Daughter, hopefully some day you will see this as well and we can have a good relationship again. I will always love you no matter what and can be patient.