Weighing Heavy


So my son came up to me last night with something to say:

Dad . . . I just want to tell you that you're a good dad and I love you, but in my dreams you're Gilderoy Lockhart.

Now if you don't know who Gilderoy Lockhart is, it's only because you've forgotten or you've never read the Harry Potter books.

The former, you're forgiven.

The latter . . . not so much.

Gilderoy Lockhart is the teacher in the second book. He's showy, flashy, and fame obsessed, and when push comes to shove, it turns out he's both a coward and a total fraud.

And by the end, he's sort of the bad guy.

My son is fascinated with heroes and bad guys and bad guys pretending to be heroes and heroes who do bad things.

What he meant to say (I hope) is that I'm like Gilderoy Lockhart in his nightmares and not his dreams. Which obviously makes a bit more sense. He's starting to get to that age where he's realizing not all adults are heroes. And thank's to J.K. Rowling's character Gilderoy, he's finding it hard to know who is good and who is bad. What makes a bad guy?

What makes a Hero?

It weighs heavy on his mind.

It weighs heavy on my mind too.

Not that I'm likely to disappoint him any time soon. I still gotta few cool tricks under my sleeve, even if the veneer is starting to crack.

But rare is the hour where I don't consider my own reflection and think such things.

Coward.

Fraud.

And the longer I tread in unfamiliar waters, the heavier those thoughts get.

It's the stuff that's built a billion dollar self help industry. The key to a happy successful life CLEARLY, is the ability drop that heavy weight of doubt, push past your timidity, take the bull by the horns, tally ho.

Tell me what success looks like and don't stop until you're there.

I'm only being mildly sarcastic.

I think there's a case to be made for cowards and frauds.

Cause, and I apologize if this gets a bit murky, despite millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man hours spent to convince you otherwise, I really don't think anyone has the foggiest clue as to what success really looks like.

You can definitely draw a line in the sand for yourself, if you like. Build a bridge that can hold a certain amount of cars, paint a wall to match the drapes, solve a Rubik's Cube in 5.25 seconds.

Which just happened BTW. A kid just solved a Rubik's cube in 5.25 seconds. Good for him.

I can do it in under three minutes.

Which is a success for me.

My son can do it in under 45 seconds.

Which is a success for him.

None of us are frauds. None of us are cowards.

Do the math. Do your homework. Practice your scales. Good to go.

Is that how everything is supposed work though? I'm really not so sure. I mean when my son thinks about me in real life, he sees the architect, the engineer, the craftsman, and the day laborer.

The architect who draws the pretty picture, the engineer who makes the pretty picture make sense, the craftsman that makes it all work and the laborer who drills the holes and sweeps the floor.

If the architect considers the pretty picture from the engineer's perspective, well, there's a good chance he's going to realize that he's a fraud.

He might even stop drawing all together.

Coward.

But if he doesn't consider the engineer's perspective . . . well . . . then . . . he's an asshole.

There are no other alternatives.

And it's important to understand the difference between feeling like a fraud, and actually being a fraud. Not only are the two different, they're virtually perpendicular.

Feeling like a fraud is in so many ways the last hurdle to achievement.

Being a fraud is . . . well . . . asshole.

But back to the beginning, I'm thinking there's more going on in my son's head than he's letting on. I think, because he's an intuitive little snot monkey, and he doesn't yet understand the difference between feeling and being. He is picking up on my own anxious feelings about myself and what I'm doing, and it's weighing heavy on him too.

There's no cure for that.

Unfortunately.

We'll just have to get through it together.

Because it's how heroes are made.


1 comment:

  1. Glad you're back on FB, it helps start my morning

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