Wednesday, July 4, 2012

for heaven's sake, love something!

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Maybe it's a stupid thing to say -- stupid in the sense that it as obvious and common as salt -- but I am really very happy that my sons like something... something they like well enough to make the sacrifices and suffer the sometimes galling, sometimes boring repetitions for something they cherish.

Today, my younger son was gone before I got up. Usually I get up between 5 and 5:30, but today I overslept and didn't get up until shortly after 6 ... and he was already gone ... gone fishing. This is a kid who, given the opportunity, can sleep until noon, a teenager whose sleep patterns can seem grounded in a well-advanced case of narcolepsy. But he did it ... dragged his tail out of bed because he told his friend he would and because he told himself he would and it was all something he loved and ... he did it. A sacrifice. A determination. A willingness to get real and get going. In the grand scheme of things, going fishing may be a minor matter. But determination is not minor and it is a quality worth nourishing. Gotta start somewhere ... gone fishin'.

My older son, during his vacation from college, goes to the gym where he works part-time and works out. When I ask if he wants a ride in the appalling heat, he looks at me with benevolent condescension. It's only a half a mile or so ... why would he want a ride? He loves throwing the discus and has steadily improved over the years. Throwing the discus takes many things, but muscle and attentive stamina is one of them and so, in the off-season, he works out. I have no doubt there are days when he doesn't want to work out, when he doesn't want to exercise his determination, when he'd rather veg out and watch "Family Guy" on the TV. But he goes and sweats and comes back damp and quiet ... it's just what he does, just what he loves ... no big deal ... AND he sticks with it.

It's all so ordinary that I am sort of embarrassed to admit it ... I am so happy for my sons.
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