Recently Matt reminded me of a tradition at the Apple store that happens when a team member leaves for further endeavors in life. All of the colleagues line up, maybe the way you would do if you were in the army and you all drew swords in the air for another couple to walk under, and they all ‘clap out’ the colleague that is leaving the store while said colleague walks in between the line of well-wishers. It’s a bit of an emotional moment for most as they feel the love and encouragement from this team of people they have worked with. Matt told me about his ‘clap out’ in Madison that happened before we moved to WA and how moving it was for him. When he told me I realized that this would have been an amazing moment for our kids, if they had been there, to see their father honored by his own teammates.
I’ve been thinking a ton about mentoring when it comes to my kids and also I’ve been realizing how important it is for our kids to see their parents succeed, whether it is at a job or a talent we are pursuing. I like my kids to see me taking photos and then to see the photos online. Now, I’d love for them to see my photos hanging in a gallery but that’s another story. I think it’s amazing when kids can watch their parents act in a play or sing on a stage or work at a job. There seems to be a lot of lessons to hand down in those moments. I’m sure they are taking in more than I even know.
Taking all this into consideration I took our kids downtown this weekend to watch their father in his first bike race. They saw the racers before Matt’s category was announced and I explained the whole process to them about what it means to race and who the winner is. When Matt’s category took off they watched him go by and every time he passed they yelled out, “PAPA!!!” It was rad! I’m not gonna lie. I loved that they saw him competing and pushing himself physically. I know it’s planting seeds in them for later in life even if our kids never compete in the same manner.
I’ve been around church culture for a number of years now and I’ve known a lot of personal friends who had an extremely rough time growing up because they felt that their parents were so consumed by the work of ministry yet it was never really integrated into the family life. It was sort of this amazing and dynamic work that stayed at the office, so to speak. Not only did these friends, as children, feel a bit like they were left to take care of themselves while their parents did God’s work but they also wished they could have seen more or participated in some way. I think too that they missed out on seeing their parents succeed and that’s huge for a child. We are the world to our kids and I’m convinced that they feel joy and pride when they are able to see mom and dad do what they love to do. I know it’s true. I’ve seen my son smile and beam when he’s been able to see me teaching or performing in front of people, to see me in a role he isn’t use to seeing me (a very un-mommy role). And while I am still very intrigued with the idea of my kids someday having mentors other than Matt and I, for now I think we are the best example to them on how to challenge ourselves, to set goals, to do what we are passionate about and to pursue our dreams one step at a time.