We were eating. It was the first meeting with my side of the family since all of us, the Froese 5, returned to Canada. And my nine-year-old, Liz, was explaining everything that I had taught her. Ever.
‘Daddy says not to wear high heels. It’s bad for your back,’ she explained. ‘This is the only thing Daddy has ever taught me.’
Now you may think this is a bit discouraging, to have your child say with all sincerity that you’ve only taught her one single lesson in nine years.
On the other hand, when they become adults, plenty of children have to unlearn one thing or another, have to unhinge themselves from patterns or thoughts or behaviour that are generally useless if not downright harmful, toxic things that have been passed down from one generation to another through, more than anything, example.
None of us since Eden are immune from this sort of toxicity. It’s the world we live in.
And yet, there is another way. We can get healthy ourselves.
And so if I’ve taught Liz one lesson – high heels are bad for your back – and if I haven’t passed on any seriously toxic behaviours, then, really, I figure that at this point I’m at Plus 1.
If I’m lucky enough to live to a ripe old age, I might have taught Liz another few things which would be put me at, say, Plus 5 before I leave her forever.
Multiply this by three kids and this is 15 or so things I’ll have taught them before I go. I’ll be Plus 15.
And you have to admit, over the course a career spanning several decades, Plus 15 is a pretty respectable average to finish one’s ice-time with.
This is it. You need to think long term with this being a Dad stuff.
And keep your kids in sensible footwear. For as long as possible, anyway.