Saturday, November 02, 2013

Taxi Talk

"My children don't have to have the same experiences I had." -Ryan Callaway

Miles: "Hey dad?"

Me: "Yes, Miles."

Miles: "Should we get this for here or to go?"

Me: "Let's get it to go, I'm going to try to get back to work for a meeting. I want to meet the representative from UVA who is visiting Bangkok this evening.

Miles: "Ok."

Some of the moments I cherished as a kid/teenager were hanging out with my dad after one of my many sporting events at some suburban fast food place usually McDonalds, sometimes KFC and talking. Usually about the game that I just played or about anything. Sometimes these talks would go on close to closing time and time just seemed to standstill.

Miles just finished playing in the first game of the Bangkok Youth Ice Hockey Tournament. 

After the game, I took him to a McDonald's (Which is a rarity) in the mall where the rink is located. We got some food, but instead of sitting down and eating at McDonald's; we got the food to go, hailed a taxi, and headed for home. While in the taxi, we broke bread together and talked. We talked about the game, the different situations in which he was involved as a defenceman during the game, his scoring opportunities, his opponent, etc. We also discussed the skyline of downtown BKK as we passed it, the Bangkok traffic through which we were stopping and going, and we just talked and it felt great.

As Miles and I talked, I couldn't help but reminisce to my own post-game talks with my Pops, which didn't seem so long ago. And, as I was reminiscing, I was definitely cognizant and marveled at the contrast of settings in which both sets of conversations took place. As I was thinking of all this, the opening quote of this post by my friend, Ryan Callaway popped in my head. Ryan and I were talking one day about our great upbringings full of a variety of sports; the great moments and accomplishments that came out of those activities and how we wanted similar experiences for our own children. Then, Ryan said the above quote; it stopped me, a lightbulb went off and I realized that he was absolutely right! Even though we both had great upbringings and we want our children to have the same, they don't have to have our upbringings and, this is something that has become something of a mantra for me. Ryan also said and I really liked, "I continually have to remind myself that my son's experiences will be totally different than mine and potentially better than mine ever were," and I feel the same way. In many respects, I cannot compare my experiences as a child to my children's because they are so vastly different due to the international lifestyle Eleanor and I have chosen to lead. I love sharing different activities and environments with my children, especially ones that I enjoyed growing up. But, I have also enjoyed the new activities in which they have engaged and found on their own and the experiences that have come out of those activities. New activities such as piano lessons, rugby, and AWANA.

So, as the taxi got closer to home, Miles and I looked ahead to his upcoming hockey game tomorrow and then he asked, "Dad, you think I can have dessert when I get home?" I replied, "Sure, Miles."

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