Over the holidays, my 25 year old son was playing in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with some other guys his age, as well as several men I know that are a bit older. With two of my younger ones in tow, and with the event running late, it was time for us to leave. As I said my goodbyes to the men I knew, all (yes…each and ever one) of them said some version of: “It was great to see you Michael. You’re son, though…he is staying, right?” Certainly, he has an established reputation as a much better athlete (and plenty of other good traits) - and I don’t blame them at all for wanting him to stay. I’d have asked the same thing.
It did get me thinking - when do people want me to stay? What are the things they want me around for? When do they not want me around? When would they prefer someone else? Am I ok with the answers?
Maybe those are good questions for us all. As I reflect on them, they give me a bit clearer focus for 2016.
P.S. As a side note, if you feel you’d like to pursue a more intentional plan for having rites of passage for your son, drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll send you a brief outline of what we did for our sons as they grew. It might spark some ideas of your own.