I recently turned 44. As I was driving in to the office the other day, I was talking to my dad and we were reminiscing about something. He’s one of my closest friends and I’ve learned such an amazing amount from him over my 44 years on this planet. He’s been blogging for a while about Repairing the Healthcare System and periodically tosses in a personal blog post about one of his life experiences.
Suddenly, during the call, I suggested that we write letters to each other on our blogs. We talk by phone a few times a week, email regularly, and video Skype at least once a week. But I learn the most from him when we have our long annual father / son weekend, or when we end up on a 45 minute call (like we did today) talking about the Senate and healthcare. And I thought about a picture that was recently sent to me of him when he was a little older than me (about 47 I think). I’m the skinny kid on the left; my first business partner Dave Jilk is on the right.
I’ve got a long list of “Stanley-isms” that I’ve incorporated into my life. They pop out randomly in various contexts, but always influence the things I do on a daily basis, how I act, and how I treat other people. I still learn a lot whenever I ponder them and thought they’d be great fodder for this blog.
While I don’t have kids, I’m watching some of my close friends raise their children. Most of the kids are between the age of 5 and 10; the parent / child relationships in my circle of friends are uniformly excellent. At a pre-board meeting dinner tonight, we spent some time talking about kids, especially in the context of how the parents (every one of them very smart and accomplished) are thinking about the transition of their kids from pre-teen through teenage years.
I’m not going to experience this as a parent, but I certainly experienced this as a kid. And when reflect on the influence my father had on me, how he interacted with me at that age, and the way it has shaped my character, I smile. A very big smile. So I thought I’d share some of that with you.
I don’t know how often I’ll write Letters to My Dad but I hope to be able to keep up with one of my favorite tweeters, ShitMyDadSays. Oh – and my dad is still wearing that NY Yankees shirt and baseball cap to this day.