stories I only tell my friends
I am reading Rob Lowe’s recent book, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, and there are some interesting parts. Right now I am heavy into the taping of The Outsiders which is a movie I saw when I was young and still remember. What a star cast! Anyways, I like that Rob Lowe is very complimentary of his wife and talks about how important he feels it is to be involved in his two boys’ lives. He writes about the distance he felt between his father after his parent’s divorce and this part of the book I earmarked to read to my husband as I thought it was a great reminder how our kids learn from all the little things in our daily actions.
“There are many other lessons that teenage boys need to learn. And most of these can’t be taught over pizza at midnight or on the tennis court. I only know this now because I see it with my own teen sons. They don’t really listen to speeches or talks. They absorb incrementally, through hours and hours of observation. The sad truth about divorce is that it’s hard to teach your kids about life unless you are living life with them: eating together, doing homework, watching Little League, driving them around endlessly, being bored with nothing to do, letting them listen when you do business, while you negotiate love and the frustrations and complications and the rewards of living day in and out with your wife. Through this, they see how adults handle responsibility, honesty, commitment, jealousy, anger, professional pressures, and social interactions. Kids learn from whoever is around them the most.”
The more I think about this, even if there is no divorce, you really have to choose what you are focused on in life. Because we all know people who are still married but that one or both of the parents chooses not to do these things with their kids, even though the opportunity is there. I think it’s true that we all find ourselves trying to teach a big lesson to our kids only to be met with a blank stare or a totally unrelated question after we finish speaking. It’s the smaller moments that our children observe us, learn from us, and all those small moments matter.