Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't Give Up

“We were talking about Picasso today,” WonderWife™ said to me in front of the kids. “About how his drawings sometimes looked weird but he was still one of the most famous painters in the world.”

This was code that I deciphered immediately. The Bean had been struggling with drawing. He’d recently developed a burgeoning interest in art, but was getting frustrated when his drawings didn’t meet his exacting standards. This had led to a few McEnroe-style tantrums before he’d shut down and refuse to do the thing that he cannot.

Later that night the Bean and I had a chat.

“Do you know how you get good at anything?” I asked him.

“Practice?” he replied.

“Yes. And you can’t give up.” I sat on the edge of his bed and looked him in the eye. “I always wanted to play guitar for my whole life. One day I bought one, took a few lessons and started to practice. But I wanted to be better at it than I was. I got frustrated and quit. I never learned how to play guitar.”

“But you should learn. You shouldn’t have gave up. You should learn guitar.”

“It’s too late now,” I told him. “I have a busy job and you guys to look after.” And a blog to write and movies to watch and the occasional video game to play, I thought. “But you can learn from my mistake and when you get frustrated, stop and take a break, but don’t ever give up.”


The next night, as I lay in my favorite position on the couch—snuggled next to WonderWife™, Food Network on the tube—she said, “Do you know what the Bean’s takeaway was from your conversation last night?”

I smiled at the thought that my story might have gotten through to him. “No,” I said. “What?”

“He wants to learn how to play guitar.”


SciFi Dad said...

Dude, tell me this is a lead in.

PLEASE tell me this is a lead in.

It's not?

OK fine, I'll spell it out for you: watch one less movie a week, and in that time, you and the Bean learn guitar together. He'll see you struggle and persevere, and you'll both learn something you can share for years to come.

Andrea said...

I have to laugh. Kids do seem to hear just what they want to hear don't they?

CanaDad said...

Great tale. I wouldnt have picked up on WonderWife's hint so fast.

So when do you both start guitar?

Daddy Geek Boy said...

SciFi...A very intriguing idea that requires two very important things: 1) buying two guitars 2) the approval and understanding of WonderWife™. One is much easier than the other.

Andrea...I actually think it's rather charming that the Bean wants to succeed where I fail.

CanaDad...It helps when you have psychic powers like we do.

OneZenMom said...

That is classic.

I second SFD's idea - Daddy-Son guitar lessons sound awesome.

We bought The Professor a Ukele for Xmas and his Dad has been giving him the odd Ukele and guitar lessons on and off, just for fun. And the 3yo LOVES to "play" the piano and drums. Now if only their Mommy had a modicum of musical talent, we could have a family band. ;)

Daddy Geek Boy said...

Zen...My problem is a total lack of musical talent as well.

James (SeattleDad) said...

That cracks me up. Still laughing.

Surfer Jay said...

Niiice. And unintended yet good consequence.
I thought he was gonna say that you give up... of course, he did later. These things enver seem to miss the kids do they.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

James... At me or with me?

Jay...I have a feeling I haven't heard thenlast from him about this.