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Motivation in a Father's Words

Updated on June 5, 2013
My Son Today
My Son Today | Source

Dad, I Don't Want to Do This!

I found my 11-year-old son weeping hard in his bedroom, his body racked with convulsive sobbing. This was no ordinary crying spell. This was a tumultuous emotional meltdown.

My own childhood had been painful...very painful. I was intimately acquainted with the healing power of crying. I was thus committed to being a father who would not discipline his children only to then tell them to suppress their crying. Crying was the outward manifestation of a real gut-level emotion. Crying could also be a powerful motivator. In the course of growing up, there were times when I had to defend myself. While it may not have been unnerving, it certainly was distracting to my adversary to see tears falling from my eyes as various parts of his face received my left jab and right cross. And, yes, the other end of the transaction was also true--I'd cry upon getting hit. Oh, how I'd cry! But not as much when my foe--a friend for life now--and I would shake hands and walk off feeling good about, well, being guys and having shiners for the real show and tell time at school the next day.

So, yes, I viewed crying as an integral part of life. I came in crying, and I hope I exit crying. Life is that dear to me!

Just as this little boy, sobbing his heart out, was very dear to me on this particular morning and in all the 9,706 mornings I've had the privilege thus far of being his father.

"Dad, I don't want to do this!"

One of the tips I'd learned about being a better parent was one that had been pounded into my thick coconut skull by my wife, over and over and over again. She must have repeated it just enough times because on this particular morning, it certainly had taken hold.

Don't try to fix things. Just LISTEN!

I can only do some wishful thinking at this point, but I choose to believe that I must have come across as a pretty wise dad at the time for being strong and silent. I held my son in an embrace that was at once firm yet liberating. He was, after all, 11--that tweener stage where a young boy leaves his mutant teenage ninja turtle plush toy, Donatello, for the more important things in life like parting his hair a different way, or flexing his muscles and doing his best Robert de Niro taxi cab driver impression ("You lookin' at ME?"), or boldly telling Mom to hang back ten feet or more when the cutest girl from school happens to be shopping at the very same store, for crying out loud!

That word again...crying...

When my son's sobbing lessened, and his heart had slowed down from a revved-up Lamborghini to a VW punch bug, I finally asked, "What's going on, son?"

"Dad, I'm not going to that spelling bee!"

Ah, so there it was.

Are You Crippled by the Fear of Success?

More than Just a Case of Nerves

My son had worked hard preparing for this annual spelling bee sponsored by the local newspaper. For the last six months or so, he had prevailed in the weekly spelling bees in his sixth grade class.

After school, he'd ride his bike around the neighborhood and deliver newspapers along his designated route. He would then return home, have supper, and do his homework. Following that, he'd have me drill him with words from a list provided by the newspaper.

On weekends, he played soccer in an organized league. His buddies would come over, and they'd have rousing video game contests. Nevertheless, my son would always spend a few hours studying the word list. He would then ask me to help him.

This would be his second year as a contestant. The year before, he had been a semi-finalist in the 5th and 6th grade division. He knew all the difficult words, losing to a sixth-grade girl on a word he'd normally spell consistently. The word? I don't recall exactly, but it had an ent ending, as in lenient or persistent or consistent. My son spelled the word with an ant ending. As he did so, he winced, sucked in a breath, and then visibly exhaled. Once the entire word has been spelled out, there's no taking it back.

As we assured him later, 2nd place among dozens of kids from SE Washington and NE Oregon school districts was no small feat.

It was no wonder, then, why he was so dedicated and passionate about preparing for this year's contest.

That is, up until just an hour prior to the event kicking off.

This was more than just a case of nerves. This was about his fear of success.

Here's Another Way to Look at the Fear of Success

The Fear of Success, and What I Told My Son

The fear of success, in my opinion, is a misnomer. It's not success that is feared but, rather, the byproducts--or changes--that occur as a result of success.

Graduating from high school, for example, brings one to a pivotal fork in the road where significant choices need to be made. College? If so, which college? Work? If so, what kind of work? Where will I live? Where will the rent money come from? Do I go into the service? If so, which one? What about my friends? Will I move on from present relationships to form new ones?

With every question that needs to be answered, there is an accompanying set of angst...insecurities...real fears.

So what did I tell my son in that very pivotal moment?

I stuck with the simple basics.

Ryan, Mom and I will honor whatever decision you make today. I just want to remind you of a few things.

First of all, we love you very much. That never changes. It is something you can always count on.

Secondly, I want to congratulate you and tell you how very, very proud we are of you for having worked so hard to prepare for today's spelling bee. The education you gained in the process can never be taken from you. You worked hard for it, and you earned it. Good for you!

With these things in mind, son, I want you to give thought to this third and final thing I'm about to share with you.

No one but you has earned the right to be exactly where you're at right this very moment. Years from now, when you are a grown man and have a son of your own, I want you to have this moment as a reference point when you need to have the kind of talk with your son that I'm having with you today. I want you to be able to tell him how--at the young age of 11--you made a decision to face your fears in order to obtain success.

The decision you make today will have an enormous impact on the decisions you make at every new fork in the road.

I want you to never have to look back upon your life and regret this or any other moment when you had a chance to do something great...and walked away from it.

I love you, Ryan, and I believe in you. I have all the confidence in the world that you will make the right decision.

Epilogue

Facing his fears, Ryan made the decision to attend the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin Spelling Bee.

It was a good thing he did. He successfully out-spelled two dozen other kids--God bless them all--in the 5th and 6th grade category. He had a small write-up in the paper and was awarded two plaques--one for him and one for his school, and a $100 US Savings Bond.

More importantly, by God's grace, he turned out to be a pretty decent--and successful--young man.

Aloha and Mahalo!
Aloha and Mahalo!

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Brandi! I'm so happy to have both him and my daughter join us for a week in Orlando. This may have been one of those last trips a nuclear family takes before one of the adult children gets married and the other moves out of state to finish up college. I continue to see both son and daughter with dual-framed glasses--as the youngsters they once were and the fine adults they are now. I know you dearly understand and appreciate where I'm coming from. Aloha, my wonderful and talented friend!

    ~Joe

  • CraftytotheCore profile image

    CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

    What an awesome story! Your son is one handsome and lucky fellow to have a father like you!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Even when I'm not outwardly tearing, there's a part of me that cries with a sweet mixture of reminiscence and fatherly joy when I think of my adult kids, never forgetting the young children they once were. Aloha, my friend, and thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your wonderful and loving comments.

    Joe

  • elle64 profile image

    elle64 4 years ago from Scandinavia

    What a great dad you are- I like the fact you do not get afraid of crying- which many people do.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Lisa, you couldn't have written a more poignant comment: "That is the cycle of a positive father and son relationship I want to see continue forever." Too many homes with absentee fathers are bringing our country down. I advocate men--even those of us who've made grievous choices--renewing their commitments to being strong and ever-present husbands and fathers. Thank you for being so very supportive. I love your vibe! Aloha and peace, my friend!

    Joe

  • LKMore01 profile image

    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Joe,

    With Fathers Day approaching I'm sure your very handsome son (who inherited his very handsome fathers good looks) will read this and reflect on what an incredible gift he has been given. He has been given the rare gift of a beautiful, compassionate, loving , supportive courageous father. Joe, by being who you are, a strong yet caring soul you are now passing that wisdom to your son who will now give that gift to the world. That is the cycle of a positive father and son relationship I want to see continue forever. Peace to you always.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you for your kind words, Rajan. It pleases me to no end, knowing how very full your plate is each day with the business at hand, that you faithfully take time to read and comment on my work. I'm grateful that you are prolific with words as well as graciousness. Have a great day, my friend! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    I moved by the motivational words you spoke to your son and you must be oh1 so proud of that moment. I'm of course sure of the fact that this pep talk had a lasting positive impact on your son in his later years. Your son is indeed lucky to have a dad who really had the power of choosing the right words when they mattered most.

    Bravo my friend, to you, and, cheers for your son!

    Aloha and have a great going day ahead.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Joyce!

    In retrospect, I'm very grateful that I let him know we loved him no matter what his decision was. At the time, I didn't know what else to do. He truly worked very hard, and--yes, you're absolutely right--he had it down pat! I remember how my wife and I were just so nervous prior to each word he was given...and then so relieved when he'd pass each hurdle. Later, when the dust settled and he was the last one left on stage, we were so very happy for him as well as reveling in this family triumph. Thanks for sharing in this experience and for your positive feedback.

    Joe

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

    I'm glad you listened to him and left the decision up to him. I'm also glad he decided to go and tough it out. He was well prepared, and that made all the difference.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Wow, Jo! That wonderful statement says it all: "...and if he needs an army, dad will be there." Amen! You know it!

    My father and mother were married at a very young age. As such, they came to the marriage barely skilled in managing their own lives let alone having the parental skills needed to raise six children. So there was this tenacity going on inside of me to do things better...how arrogant of me! I made a ton of mistakes. Fortunately, I'm blessed to have a patient and faith-filled wife. She taught me a lot, and to my credit, I listened after the fourth or fifth time. LOL! That said, I shared this specific event through my writing not to illustrate any success I'd had as a parent but rather an awareness of how some of us struggle with the fear of success. Thank you for your gracious words and generous sharing of this hub. Under the pressure of the 30 Hubs Challenge, I'm thankful that some find substance in what I'm scrambling to put out there. : ) Aloha, my friend!

  • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

    Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

    wow. This was an excellent written hub. I shared & tweeted.

    Voted up +++. Amazing how as parents when the time comes and they need us the most. We surprise ourselves with being able to relate to those same feelings. You are such an Amazing dad! :-) The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. So glad he overcame his fear, and in the end. I am sure he knows that he can face his fears head on, and if he needs an army, dad will be there. :) Aloha! Shalom

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Jim, you and I, like most fathers, are naturally inclined towards fixing situations. I learned the hard way, and it took me years to grasp the wisdom of just listening. My wife constantly shared this universal lesson with me--and, frankly--I'd initially get upset because it made no darn sense to me. Until, that is, I began to see the effect it had on my children...and even then, I still didn't understand it. So what finally pushed me over the edge was when my wife pointed out to me in no uncertain terms that sometimes kids just need to get their stuff out...that it empowers them to not have Dad come to the rescue, making it all about Dad...but, rather, to empower THEM, once they've expressed themselves, to dig deep and come up with their own coping choices. Being a sounding board got me more brownie points with the wife and kids than I reasonably deserved. Meanwhile, these days, I take all the stuff I've been suppressing and voice them to my cool and nonchalant shrink who charges reasonable rates--

    Kona, the family cat. Have a great new week, Jim!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Outstanding Joe! You are really coming up with some quality material for this challenge. You were a wise parent, where I was probably too much of a "fixer" when my daughter was growing up. She turned out great despite my errors though.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Kathryn!

    I'm plugging away at this Challenge, my friend...falling behind but not falling down. : ) Thank you for your kind words, my friend. Gratitude at so many levels fills my heart when I think of my children and the blessings they've been to my wife and me, extended family, friends, and their community. We are people of simple means, but we nevertheless are rich with love and a commitment to serve where we can. And it's always a real pleasure to encounter people of a similar foundation here on HP...people like you, Kathryn! Have a wonderful Sunday!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Nancy! Every family has its own unique challenges. I commend you on doing the very best with your current situation. A child at 14, much like the butterfly tapping away on the inside of a cocoon, HAS to go about testing boundaries, and a grandma has the seemingly thankless job of setting them firmly. Later, when he is in his twenties, you will hopefully and prayerfully see a return on your loving investment. I think, too, that it must be hard for him not to have his mother in the same country. Thank you for sharing in this hub experience and for sharing your personal situation as well. Blessings and aloha to you, and may your Sunday be a pleasant one!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Pearl! The Lord has blessed my son and daughter with handsome/lovely Eurasian features. At 6'2" and 5'9", respectively, they are a striking presence. Still, from the time they were very young, my wife and I instilled in them the awareness that inner beauty, founded on a sincere love and respect for God, family, and others before self, is the only real treasure worth having. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have shared this long ago incident. In a deep way, it served to remind me that I have my own fear of success issues to work through...this very Hub Challenge being an immediate example! : ) Aloha, and have a wonderful Sunday!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Karen! Good to see you "up and at 'em" again. I feel for you because this very busy Hub month is also when something else has been scheduled. I know from experience to have the utmost confidence that you will pull through each experience with flying colors. Prayers are already going up for you. My son and I were nostalgically discussing this specific event that occurred about 15 years ago. A turning point in his life, to be sure! Thanks for reading and for leaving such precious comments. Have a good night's rest!

    Joe

  • Nancy C Moores profile image

    Nancy C Moores 4 years ago

    Hey Joe,

    I agree with wetnosedogs you have a very handsome son much like his father, and mom (beautiful). Even under pressure you do great articles. I have my 14 yr old grandson that I'm trying to raise until his mom gets back to the states. Although I have to admit that he is very very trying to my nerves, but I'm doing the best that I can do especially living with my 85 yr old mom. hmmmmmmm Talking about oil and vinegar or 2 magnets trying to put them together. Wow I wonder why I even try to get out of bed, but ohhh yeah they won't let me stay there hahahahaa. Sorry about going on like that hahahahahahaaaaa. You have given your children a good nurturing environment to live their life in. That is a great asset for any child. Take care my friend. Really Enjoyed.

  • grandmapearl profile image

    Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    Joe, I had no choice but to Vote this one Up Across the Board! It took me back to a talk my Mom had with me lo these many, many, many years ago. If not for that very supportive exchange, I cannot imagine where I would be today. She gave me the confidence to choose the right thing and to believe in myself, just as you did with your son. By the way, he is a hunk!

    I was riveted from the first word you wrote, and you held me in the palm of your hand all the way to the end! Excellent work my friend ;) Pearl

  • Karen Hellier profile image

    Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

    What a wonderful story. I am sorry I am a bit behind in reading hubs but I am glad I didn't miss this one. It's a wonderful example of how fathers can influence their children in such a positive way that they will carry it with them all the rest of their lives. Sounds like you were a very wise and wonderful father. And the timing on this hub is wonderful with Father's Day just around the corner. great job...voted up and awesome!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    I love how you made us feel as if we were there in that situation. I think that you handled it very well, and gave your son great advice that I'm sure stuck with him. What a beautiful story! It's interesting to think of how our decisions can impact our future. It must have been pretty eye-opening for your son to think of it like that, to think of how disappointing it would be to not go to the spelling bee, after studying hard for so long.

    Fear of success can be pretty crippling.

    Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, Joe. I'm looking forward to your next post! Good luck, and have a fantastic weekend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Shelley! My success as a father has been directly proportional to how much I listen to my wife's suggestions. : ) Ryan has always been clear about his goals, ever since he was a kindergartener, and while he has had his challenges with fear of failing, my take on the turning points of his life was--like my own--struggling with the fear of success. Subtle yet distinct differences that viewing the two videos and studying elsewhere helped me understand a lot more clearly. Thank you for stopping by to check this hub out and for your wonderful comments, my friend. Have a terrific and memorable weekend!

    Joe

  • CyberShelley profile image

    Shelley Watson 4 years ago

    Well done Dad, just to take that time to listen and give them the power to make their own decisions, believe that they have made the right choice and take away the fear of failing is an invaluable lifelong gift to your son. Brilliant hub!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Kari!

    I was in the midst of responding to your comment when I lost everything. So I'm starting this over again.

    Yes, it's true--I've received many a good lesson about how to communicate and be an effective parent to the kids from my wife. Lots of mistakes made, but over time, I'm beginning to see (as they now are in their 20's) a wonderful return on the investment. Thank you so much for sharing in this experience. Aloha and blessings from SE Washington state!

    Joe

  • Relationshipc profile image

    Kari 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

    You are the kind of dad that everyone wants to have! Supportive, encouraging, aware, and understanding...lucky kids.

    I loved the read, it was such a good lesson, but I especially loved the part about your wife getting through your "thick coconut skull" about listening...I laughed out loud at that one.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
    Author

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Margaret!

    Thank you for your insight.. I respect you as both a scientist and an artist, and I am honored and grateful that you read and enjoyed this hub. Though the pressure of doing the 30 Hubs Challenge is something I don't enjoy (he said as he continued to slip further behind in his timetable), it is compelling me to forge through my own fear of success. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend! Aloha!

    Joe

  • mperrottet profile image

    Margaret Perrottet 4 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

    Fear of success and its partner in crime fear of change is such a real thing, and I've known people that deliberately sabotage themselves because of it. Your son is so lucky to have had a wise father to counsel him at that critical point in his life. I love your writing - you really bring things alive. Voted up, useful and interesting, awesome - and sharing.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    My man, Alex! Thanks for understanding. I'm so far behind that I'm about ready to clone myself. LOL! Take care, and I'll pop in whenever I can!

    Joe

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    Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

    Joe: I'm totally with you there. The comment part of HubPages is fun, but definitely secondary to climbing word mountain. Write on and get back to me whenevaz! Shaka,

    Alex

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Bill! Thank you so much! I miss my son, and I think it's comforting to have our cat, Kona, to talk to. Sometimes, I even catch myself calling the cat, "son." LOL! The empty nest syndrome...well, sorta, 'cause our daughter is home with us one more year before finishing up her last two years of Nursing in Portland...has its funny moments. I'm just thankful, as I know you and your wife are, that we did the best we could with whatever skills God blessed us with to raise our children. The season that we have with them seems so short as one looks back. Thanks for stopping by, Bil, and for your loyal support. Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Karen. In a phone call with my son last night, I asked him if he remembered that morning, and he sure did. He reminded me that the word he won with was fluorescent. He had just spent the day in negotiations with corporate executives regarding a new position, and I couldn't help but think about how his boldness and confidence might very well have found some of their roots on that fated morning in 1998. Glad you stopped by and enjoyed this one, Karen. Aloha, and wish me well! I am so far behind! )

    Joe

  • Seafarer Mama profile image

    Karen A Szklany 4 years ago from New England

    Enjoyed reading this inspiring hub, Joe. Enjoyed seeing a picture of your son, too. Best of luck with writing the rest of your challenge hubs. I am sure I will stop by to read them!

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Beautiful hub Joe. And your son is a handsome young man. It has always been clear to me from reading your work that you are a very wise man. You gave us a great message here today. Thank you. Sharing this around, voted up, etc....

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Ah, Mary! I don't believe in coincidences. It's meant to be....another plank in the bridge we build to connect from where I'm at across the wide chasm to where you're at. Our writing helps us to meet somewhere in the middle. Thank you for sharing this AWESOME behind the scenes story with me. I'm smiling big time! It was sometime in 1989 - 1990 when Ryan spelled EXIT.

    Where's Rod Serling when you need him? Ha-ha!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, malonge! Hope you're having a wonderful week in western NY. I was concerned about the earthquake that hit off the island of Hawai'i sometime yesterday. Got family over there. So far, so good. Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Alex!

    Thank you very much for your kind words and empathy. I am so swamped with the deadlines and stress of this 30-day challenge, certainly within my ability and scope but so many other things getting in the way. I apologize for not reciprocating better with my attentiveness to you and others. I really want to prove to myself that I can do this. Kinda like we're climbing to the summit together, and the old man suddenly gets a streak of stubbornness, the only thing left between making it to the top and giving up. I'm probably not making a lick of sense, but it's my best effort right now. Thank you, brah, for your encouragement.

    Joe

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    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    I had to come back and write again...you are not going to believe this but, my daughters are very smart (that's not the part you're not going to believe) and one of them at three years old began spelling the word "EXIT" for no reason! She even wrote it on a piece of paper which I still have! What kind of coincidence is that?!

  • malonge profile image

    malonge 4 years ago from Western New York On Hubpages

    You write very well. I loved reading your story.

  • mercuryservices profile image

    Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

    Joe, this is another classic hub from you. You have a knack for heartfelt tales. Thats one of the things I need to work on too, the concept that sometimes its enough to just be there. No need to offer a solution or try to fix it. Write on.

    Alex

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Natasha...my lovely wife taught me well how to best respond to our children. It made a lot of sense to me to allow my son to feel empowered to make his own decision. All I did was provide him with things to consider, and he took care of it from there. Bottom line, he knew we'd love him no matter what...and I truly believe that in that moment, I was "...training up my child in the way he should go." Have a good night's rest, my friend, and may you find your way to Kaua'i someday soon.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Aloha, My Cook Book!

    I sure do appreciate you for stopping by and checking this hub out. I see you're a prolific writer specializing in the food genre. Best wishes for continued success here on HubPages!

    Joe

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    Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

    What an accomplishment! I can't spell my way out of a paper bag, and people who can spell have always amazed me.

    I think you had a great response to your son. I don't have any kids, but it's the kind of reaction that has always helped me most when I was experiencing doubt!

  • My Cook Book profile image

    Dil Vil 4 years ago from India

    Great hub, i had a good read. Thank you my friend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Aditya

    Thank you very much for your kind words. It pleases me to no end that here on HubPages, a Hawaiian man writing in Washington state can touch the heart of a man in India...and the same is true of the potential of your writing to touch my heart in return. This is a wonderful global literary community that we belong to, my new friend, and I shall be honored to share a healthy exchange of ideas with you in the months ahead. Blessings and aloha from SE Washington state.

    Joe

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    Aditya 4 years ago from India

    I am really impressed, I will surely share this hub with all my friends with kids. You gave him good advice and I would love to meet you some day and talk about life in general and I am sure I will something great to learn from you. I really hope you continue to write and this goes without saying that I will surely read all your other hubs too.

    All the best, god bless you

    -Aditya

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Dahlia!

    Thank you very much for your positive feedback and generous sharing of my hub with others. The father-son relationship is a very important factor in a boy's healthy transition into adulthood. That said, his relationship with his mother was absolutely incredible. I am thankful our two children grew up to be responsible, compassionate, and loving young adults. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wonderful thoughts, my friend. Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @tillsontitan

    Hey, Mary! I KNOW you wrote a comment because I responded to it. I opened up another window to check he comments section of this particular hub and found both you original comments as well as my response. Must be another HP glitch. But I never tire of hearing from you, my friend. so all is good! : ) What you said about my son is so true. He's done things in his teens and young adult years that are absolutely incredible. Just an inside story I wanted to share with you, my lovely and memorable interviewer...When my son was two years old, I taught him to spell his first word. It was EXIT. We were hanging out in this particular room, and I wanted to keep him pleasantly distracted. Looking around, I saw this sign by the door. Step by step, I taught him the word, what it meant, and how to spell it. To this day, he hasn't forgotten that. : ) Thanks for stopping by, not once, but twice, and in the classic style that only the tillsontitan could ever pull off! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hey, Chris! Miss you, man, so it's always good when you poke me with a little reminder that you're faithfully checking in with us! Thank you so much for reading this hub. I know FAMILY is very important to you, too, influencing both big and small decisions you and your wife have to make. As I wrote this hub, I did not lose sight of the fact that I was speaking to myself in recounting the conversation I had with my son...and I came to the conclusion that I'm running out of time real fast, so I need to wrestle with whatever challenges I put in my own way and forge through my own deep fear of success. Thanks for "listening," Chris. Aloha, bruddah!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, CrisSp! Your beautiful comments are graciously received and appreciated, my friend! The Eurasian (hapa-haole, as we say in Hawai'i) blend is a nice balance that's manifested in my adult children's outer appearance. My wife and I have underscored the importance of a person's inner beauty, and I'm thankful--so thankful--that both children grew up with that in mind. I am very grateful that you shared a bit about your daughter and your very special relationship with her. You have many attractive qualities, my friend, and I'm enjoying the privilege of being a writing peer alongside of you here on HP. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Joelle! I'm glad you liked this remembrance story of an incident that took place in 1997. It was a banner day for our family, and I was especially grateful to have encouraged my son without pressuring him. As a young man today, he carries himself with confidence flavored with a kind and humble presentation. Glad you liked this hub. Thank you for your faithful support, my friend Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Bill!

    The balance between soul partners goes a long way in blessing the entire family with love, compassion, forgiveness, and healing. My limited success in life has been directly proportional to the times I listened to my wife. And I'm such a knucklehead that I sabotaged myself a lot. Lately, and in large part due to some of the pointed questions you raised in your hubs, I took an inventory of key points in my life when I was on the verge of great things, only to pull the plug on myself. It gradually dawned on me...it wasn't a fear of failure. Rather, it was a fear of success that was at the root of my problems. I could go on and on, but a good example of how I'm fighting through the fear is by going on long walks. With a positive goal in mind, I fake it until I make it. That's what I'm doing with my writing. That's why I'm sticking it out here on HP. There is a greater purpose for me to be here, and I say that with the utter confidence that you, my friend, know exactly where I'm coming from. Thanks for your loyal support. Forgive me for being late for the bell regarding responding to your beautiful hubs and comments. I know you understand just how important it is to meet this challenge head-on! Aloha, Bill!

    Joe

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    livingsta 4 years ago from United Kingdom

    A beautiful hub Joe. Thank you for sharing this with us. I can imagine the feelings around this situation.

    Voted up and sharing!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, JayeWisdom! You hit the nail on the head, my friend. As a dad, I made a lot of mistakes, but I always did my best to exemplify accountability for those mistakes. We went through some rough times as a family, but there were these sweet moments when a lot of sharing and a lot of love overflowed. This incident was one such time. Thank you for sharing in it. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, Sheila B., for your kind words! Today was an important day for my son at his corporate office because he was being interviewed for an upgraded position. It went very well, and they are in the midst of salary negotiations as I write these words. My wife, daughter, and I prayed for him today, as we do faithfully...it's the glue that keeps our ship intact on the unpredictable seas of life. I share this with you because I like to think, with a humble heart, that the incident I wrote about here helped shape--at least in a small way--my son's willingness to make choices that are scary to make and, as a result, forge the path for his success. In a very important way, I was at a crossroads in my own life, and thus the words I shared with him were definitely intended for yours truly as well. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Mary! I realize I'm getting these responses off in a less than punctual manner, and for that, I apologize. Life and hub challenges get in the way. No excuse, but I know you understand, my friend. Yes, by now, you have confirmed that I am in the first week of a month-long hub challenge, and I am behind a couple of days. But I'm hoping that I'll come sliding in under the midnight peal of the bells with seconds to spare on June 30th. I am so thankful that you liked this one. Aloha, my friend, and have a great evening!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you so much, WND, for your kind words. These challenges press me hard to come up with topics, so while passing the piano one day and looking at my son's recent Mother's Day gift, a memory was triggered of that day in 1997. I'm glad you liked it. Have a great day, my friend. I'm already two behind so I need to hustle! Aloha!

    Joe

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    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    I'm really confused. My comment is not on this hub either even though I got a notification on a hub I am following again (this one this time).

    Well, I'll try again. This was a splendid hub Joe. How wise you are and how much you have learned. I have a feeling your son will remember your conversation longer than you will and he's been able to face life with few regrets!

    Voted all the way across on this one buddy, and shared.

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    chrisinhawaii 4 years ago

    Aw, Joe. That was awesome! I'm proud of BOTH of you! hahaha! Very inspiring hub! Aloha, Chris

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    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Aww, what a wonderful story Father Joe *smile* and your son is very handsome. It wouldn't be wrong for me to say, like father like son, eh?

    As a mother, I can very much relate to your story (with my daughter) only thing is that when she cries, I'd cry too and more often, we ended up laughing at our silly faces. Well, depending of course on the extent and seriousness of the situation. Such is our unique relationship with our kids and for all its cost--we love them dearly.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with us and best wishes on your writing endeavour. 27 more to go, eh?

    Voting up, beautiful, pinning and sharing.

    Love from the sky~

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Elias! So good to hear from you again! Bless your heart, my friend...thank you very much for your beautiful sentiments. I have no doubt in my mind that you'd make a wonderful dad someday. I always appreciate your visits. Aloha from SE Washington to Athens, Greece!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Kawi!

    Yeah, I know, huh? It can only mean one beautiful and important thing, bruddah. You faced your fear of success when pursuing your wife, just as I did with mine. : ) Have a beautiful day, filled with lots of aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Faythe! Thank you so much for your kind and gracious words. My wife and I are blessed to have two great (adult) kids. We are planning what could be our last "just the four of us" family trip to Orlando in September, and I'm looking forward to that quality family time. Have a wonderful day, my friend, and should I inadvertently miss any of your wonderful writing in the next four weeks, it is because I am diligently attempting to meet my 30 Hubs in 30 days challenge. Thanks for understanding!

    Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Liz!

    Yes, it's sad but true--little ones grow up so fast...seemingly overnight. I can't believe sixteen years flew by since that morning I found him crying so hard. Ryan was a happy child. If we heard him singing in the shower, we knew it was going to be a great day. Just about every day was a great day! Hold on while you can...someday, she'll come back to you and hold on to you for dear life! Ah, the wonder and beauty of it all! Aloha, my Dunedin friend!

    Joe

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    Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

    Hi, Joe! It seems to me that fatherhood's no easy business, but you've been doing great! I'll keep in mind what to tell to a son in a critical moment, for when my time will come :) Wise words, my friend! And a very well written hub, too! Congrats! Voted up&awesome! Elias

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    KawikaChann 4 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

    That was an awesome write Joe, beautifully done - why is it that our wives have so much wisdom? Chee... Aloha, and peace. Kawi.

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    Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

    Joe what a great dad you are..your son is very lucky to have such a wise dad....I like the way that you counseled him, but yet , he made his own wise choice in the end..And what a handsome boy he is...And smart to boot...congratulations on his great win! voting up and sharing.

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    Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

    That was a bit of excellent advice. I hope that I can control my urges to smooth out every bump in the road and simply provide the support that my little one needs (even when she's not my little one anymore). Ok, now I'm gonna cry, so I'll leave it at that! Thanks for sharing this beautiful story, Joe.

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    kidscrafts 4 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

    Great story Joe! Thank you for sharing that today! It was a nice lesson of life for your son and I am glad that he won that day! It's nice to see that your son was able to tell you about his fear. Talking about it probably showed him that it was not so bad after all.

    He was probably afraid to be second like the year before or even worse position. May be the girl who won the year before was there too. Who knows!

    The good thing, this was a great experience for him!

    Enjoy your day.... and happy writing!

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    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Well of course you know you had me crying with that one....for my son it was his first wrestling match in high school.....and yes, listening does wonders.

    Bev is the fixer in this family; I am the listener. We balance each other quite well and that is so important where kids are concerned.

    Wonderful, beautiful, uplifting story of parenthood my friend. This was pure pleasure to read.

    Aloha,

    bill

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    Jaye Denman 4 years ago from Deep South, USA

    Wonderful story. Wise dad. Learning to face his fears at a young age was valuable to your son--not only for winning the spelling bee, but in preparation for the rest of his life.

    Voted Up++++

    Jaye

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    Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    What a wonderful hub! It's true, success can be as scary as failure. I think your advice to your son was just perfect. You let him know that you loved him, no matter what and that you respected his decision. Yet you said enough to make him think ahead and "look back" at the decision he was about to make. You let him make the decision, but still guiding him to make the right one. I'm sure you did a wonderful job as a parent. Your son is a very nice looking young man and if he is anything like his father, he is a good-hearted man as well. Wonderful job! Voted up and awesome. Aloha my friend! :)

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    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    This is a totally awesome hub Joe. You've portrayed an event that just shows how everyday life can be with a child and made it interesting and heartwarming.

    With every question that needs to be answered...how true. It seems there are just more questions and when you're 11 years old its a tough world. How amazingly you handled the situation and I bet your son remembers that day as vividly as you do. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    P.S. 27 more to go? Are you doing a 30/30 and I missed it? Well I'm going to your profile page to find out!

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    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    What a handsome man your son is. He has a great smile.

    You, as a father, have done the right things for that little boy. I am happy to read he got through his spelling bee and made a wonderful job of it.

    There is always that one word that wants to confuse a person.

    It is hard being a parent but definitely worth it to see our kids grow up and be happy, no matter what they do.

    Great job on this hub and your 30 day challenge. This one was worth the wait.