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Why It’s A Blessing If Your Kids Don’t Share Your Interests

Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr

High school football is back. Last weekend, my old high school’s JV team was playing under the lights, and I thought I might stop out to see the game. I asked my kids if they wanted to go with me to help cheer on the purple and gold, and they responded with an apathetic, “OK…”

To say I was disappointed might be a bit of an understatement. It’s football season! How could they not be excited???

I’ve always had a vision of what I thought my kids would be like. I guess it was very stereotypical. I always thought my daughter would be a little girly like my wife, and my son would be a sports lover like me. I know it’s wrong, but as a young parent, when you have one boy and one girl, that’s kind of what you expect as a father.

It couldn’t be any more different from that. My daughter Madelynn is a bit of a tomboy. Her best friend is a boy, and they love to do stuff like go fishing (yes, she can bait her own hook) and ride on four-wheelers. She’s not afraid to get dirty (as long as mom’s OK with it), and finding worms and bugs is one of her favorite things to do.

My son Maverick, however, is the opposite. He’s not a rough kid at all. He plays piano.  He’s very kind, he is gentle, and he would just as soon prefer to give hugs than to throw punches.

Although it’s not quite what I imagined, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, they might not share my interests in sports and other things, but we still have a lot in common. I’m finding more and more as my children grow up, they’re making me a more complete adult as well. Things that I never would have even considered to experience, I’m experiencing because of my kids.

We now own some chinchillas. Yup…chinchillas. I wouldn’t have ever expected to have a pet like that. But I do because of my daughter’s love for animals. I know more about playing music now than I ever have before, because of my son’s interest in the piano.

They bring the kid out in me. We play with Legos, and Maverick can build some pretty incredible things. He’s built vehicles and buildings that I would have never been able to dream up when I was 7. They are certainly rubbing off on me, and my hope is that one day, I’ll be able to rub off on them a bit. But for now, I’ll just enjoy our differences.

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