In the last month or so, I have been privileged to have been ask my opinion regarding 3 of my mate’s sons. Two of the boys are going to high school and the older one had to decide about a sporting opportunity. Although there is a 5 year difference between the boys, they are exceptional young men that has been making their mark among their contemporaries. I was much chaffed, that these mates ask for my opinion as all of them are successful in their own right. I could not help but remember my late dad ask for advice from both my grandfather and his father in law, before making any big life choices. I myself also asked various friends for their opinion, before allowing my son to attend Grey College.
But this started me thinking, why these guys asked for my advice, while certain people would never ask for advice. I am not egotistical at all about this, and I really think and know that these guys, have asked other people for advice as well about the boys. What do these men have in common (including myself) , why is it so important for them to get other opinions and advice ,before making extremely important decisions with their sons that may impact the rest of their lives.
What I want to say next, is only applicable on the unnamed mates and myself, but I could not help but see the similarities. All of us have an exceptional work ethic, we do not know what sick leave means , and working overtime has been part of ourselves , all our lives .We are also extremely passionate about our jobs , we take ownership of it and treat is as our own . That begs to answer the question, that if this is applicable to our lives, should we all not be more successful. Hoping that we have more brains than a “meerkat”. We are all middle class, salary earners that has to be care full about making the budget every month. Something more, we all think about the world, can talk about any subject, Likes company, take a drink now and them, and deep inside of ourselves, ask ourselves the questions, did we not under perform in our lives.
All 4 of us are absolutely fanatical about our children, we are their biggest supporters, coaches, motivators, first aid men (our sons will disagree), we tape games, run plays, throw balls etc. None of us misses a game, a performance or a competition. An although they do not always excel (they do most of the time), we are there to cheer, applaud, fight with the ref, and do not forget the criticism after the game good or bad. We do not know what it is to have a week end to ourselves , because there is always a place to be .This is done with the greatest devotion , petrol money will be scraped together , and we will be their come rain, shit or snow . We absolutely love it!
But it does not take a long time to see the same parents at every game, every price giving , every teacher parent evening and please do not forget the same people at the fundraising table selling hamburgers and “boeries” .
According to me, all this comes down to choice, we could stay at the office when games take place, will probably look better to the boss. We can choose to play golf on Saturdays and network rather than go to another netball game , and lets be honest , prize giving’s and teacher parent conferences are boring. This will then make sure we are a lot more successful at work.
Are we great parents, please, I started giggling on my own here! Not by a long shot, my son still remembers how I forced him back on the field with a broken thumb, and how I was red carded as a spectator by a referee. My one mate son could bring a beer, just after he started walking, the other mate is totally confused as he is a sports fanatic and his son is a culture King. My other mate wants to tell his son what to do all the time while is on the field, and on occasion has taken a referees whistle and tried to blow the game himself. So as you can see, most of the time we are more of an embarrassment than anything else. However, and this I say from experience, I was there for my kids the majority of the time when they needed me, when things did not go as planned or when they had their biggest triumphs. Even if we were told we will be suspended if we open our mouths one more time, it has been the biggest privilege of my life .One I will not change for any success or money!
It brings me back to the question I started with, why will certain people ask for advice regarding their kids. The answer is simple , we want to do right by our kids , even if it is to our own detriment .A man asked me one day , “why are you so selfish to allow your son to go to Grey College and a hostel far from you , do you not love him” .He totally missed the point . I loved my son so much I respected his choice where he wanted to go to school , even if closer would have been better for me ,and cheaper , it would have been selfish for me to do that.
So to my mates not only the ones I wrote about today, but the ones with pictures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter of their super stars. Keep on asking advice and opinions and never, never stop supporting. Because belief me when I say , there is nothing as cool in the world as drinking a beer with your 20 year old son , because he knows you will always be there for him.
That to me is success, to one day have your kids as your mates, while they have the confidence in you to ask for your opinion or advice