K, my rather new-ish and unknown Facebook friend, brought some muscle with her this morning, just in case things went sour. So did I. Altogether, the six of us met up at a south Minneapolis coffee shop that didn't mind if we spent a couple of hours taking up a prime corner table while not spending much money. I might have felt guilty, except that when I ordered a large decaf, they simply gave me the cup and pointed me to their coffee pots. Pour my own coffee? Oh, the injustice. And, I couldn't even find any cocoa powder! It was truly a small miracle that I made it through my day.
I've given some thought to the best way to discuss this, but I'm actually less confident in my approach to this topic now than I was an hour ago. So please bear with me. I feel like I'm more successful than my parents were. Note that I am not attempting to claim that I am better, but simply that I have been able to achieve more of the things in life that would make others see me as successful. Typing this makes me feel . . . weird, but perhaps it shouldn't. From my perspective, it speaks more to my parents' role in creating decent children than it does to my decision-making, work ethic, or anything else that people often see as the pathways to success. Really, I may have just lucked into my successes by being born at the right time, in the right place, and to the right parents. I've got four siblings and, as an average, I think we are better off than our parents. But to me, this is a testament to them. While they weren't perfect, they must've done something to get us to this point, whether intentional or not.
Here's where I get even more uncomfortable and, I hope that I don't piss anybody off, at least not with this post. From my very limited interaction with K, I think that perhaps her children are on the path to become more of a traditional definition of successful than she was. Again, this feels weird to state. It's as though it could be seen as a slight toward K. But really, I see it as a huge compliment. I'm not a parent, but I would imagine that one of the goals as a parent is to see your kids happy and, even more so, to see them be more successful than you. If that's the case, or maybe even if it's not, K has to be ecstatic in regard to her children. I only met two of them this morning, but wow, they really have it together. While speaking with them, I kept thinking, "Why wasn't I more like them when I was in high school?" If you like to bet but don't like long odds, put your money on them. K's kids were crazy good.
So that's where I'm at now. I hope that my thoughts have not have ruffled any feathers, either with my Facebook friend, my parents, or the general populace. I also hope that people feel free to provide me with feedback. Like I said, I have not yet produced any offspring, so, as with most things, I embrace the possibility that I have no idea what I'm talking about. But in my current naive and ignorant state, I can't help but think of a day 30 years from now. Maybe my wife and I will have a daughter, maybe she'll be awesome, maybe she'll be more successful than both of us combined. And maybe, just maybe, there'd be nothing in the world that could possibly make us any prouder.