I don’t have children yet but I do know a little about parenting. I’ve seen enough to know that kids grow very, very fast and before you know it, they’re out the door.
Once a parent, the priority is the child, everything else takes a back seat especially when it has nothing to do with the well being of the child. All attention is now directed to make sure the kid is safe and has every opportunity available to them.
Successful parenting includes spending time with the kid(s). Taking them to baseball practice, going to school award ceremonies, and playing along with them at Disneyland. The time spent with the child helps to formulate who they are, generally helping the kid not develop bad habits or (later in life) knock over a 7-11 in order to pay for the drug habit.
Like all investments, the more time and attention to detail given to the child will result in a stronger offspring that will grow up to be a leader and an asset to the community.
On Monday I saw several fathers who were physically next to their children but mentally they may as well been in another state.
There is the father who brought his three children to breakfast with the Disney characters only to read through the Wall Street Journal while they hugged Minnie Mouse for the first time. No cameras, no attention. The parent obviously too bored with the surroundings, wanting nothing more than coffee, CNBC, and solitude.
While in the park (Disneyland), I observed another father pushing the stroller, surrounded by upright walking children. They gazed around in amazement and excitement while the dad shrugged them off so he could talk with the office on the tiny cell phone. An action I saw repeated five times by the same person throughout the day.
Success is defined in many ways and monetary gain is certainly one of them, but I know that when these gentlemen are older, they will go to cash out on their greatest investment of all, and they will receive very little in return, if at all.
Time lost, moments lost, memories never to be regained.