my son Joshua
was very young, one of our favorite things we did together was
walking from the
across the cattle pasture down to Cayetano creek. His curiosity was
so fresh, never‑ending and contagious. Whatever he saw
(anything he saw, in fact) elicited an "Ooh" or an
"Aah" - be it a cow, a squirrel, a hawk, a deer, a fox, a coyote, a
frog or a newt or a tadpole, or even a rock or a downed branch. I,
too, "Ooh"ed and "Aah"ed at whatever he was captivated by, but
especially at his childlike innocent enjoyment. For me as his
it was a double thrill.
It's not that my job as his
job is never over). It's that he's now at the stage of
his life in which, arguably for the first time, he has his own
future in his hands. Actually he, like each of us, always had and
always will have his own future in his hands. This is merely the
first time he's realizing it. It's the first time he's realizing he
confront it - for better or for worse, wherever it leads, wherever
he may go with it, from now on for the rest of his life.
We're walking to the creek again, something we haven't done
together in a while. We're talking in
trusting, comfortable, familiar way in which
talk. There are still some "Ooh"s and "Aah"s, to be sure. But there
are far more of his "What if?" questions now, far more
as it is - which is to say, far more baseline confronting
as it occurs for him which he now has to deal with in
order to kickstart his own life independent of me. And my role now
is less of feeding him, less of clothing him, less of sheltering
him, less of educating him, and more of listening him
as he inquires into what's possible for his future.
In this regard,
got two big things going for him. The first is
When you already like the person you are at an early age, it bodes
well for a future of being and fully expressing
who you really are.
And it's not simply that when you like the person you are at an
early age, the seeds of
are strewn on fertile soil - which is a
advantage, to be sure. No, it's more than that. It's much,
much more. It's when you like the person you are,
others are more likely to also like the person you are, making your
passage through Life easier (and by easier I only mean
The second is he's brutally honest with himself. He's
not afraid to tell himself the truth about his life, about what
about his life, about what doesn't
about his life. It's a quality he's not reticent to share with me.
When he does, it makes a really profound level of communication
between us possible.