This is such sad news. If you have not watched “the last lecture” and you have kids, or are thinking about having kids, or just want to be a better human being, God, I emplore you to watch it. It can’t help but change your life.
He was a great man, in a normal guy way, not trying to move the world, just trying to be the best man and the best father he could. He was burdened with terminal cancer, horrible, and had several children, who are still very very young.
I cant fathom the personal torment that comes from being terminally ill for a long time, and watching your little children grow, knowing that soon you will be gone, and they will be forced to spend the balance of their lives without you. And conversely, that you will never be able to be there for them beyond a few years early in their lives when they are perhaps not yet at the age where they will be able to really understand the lessons you want to impart, or to really know you as a person.
I cried when I watched the last lecture on tv.
I have two little boys of my own that I am trying to do the best for that I can, in my own inherently faulty way. Its so hard to not lose site of the long term affects of your short term reactions to their behavior. You want to be their best freind, their support, to build their confidence in themselves, to make them good people. But then, they are still little kids who fight and bicker and act out. Everyone is tired and cranky from long days at school or work, and the few hours you have with your little ones are the few hours of the evening when you are perhaps least prepared to be even handed with them.
My parents were very stern with me, and frankly, we never bonded. I have not spoke to my mother in close to a year. My father died in 2000, of cancer. It is hard to break out of the mold of what you are used to, my parents expected, and got, instant obedience to instructions. There was no messing about. I did and expected the same for 8 years of my life in the Marines, which had a profound affect on my personality.
But I need to be there for my kids, I dont want to be the one they grow to resent. At the same time, I feel they need to learn the respect for rules and proper behavior. I have a real pet peave with kids of rich families who got everything they wanted and ended up spoiled 18 year olds who pissed away their younger years because they did not have it tough enough growing up. I was a poorer kid (my parents made money, they just did not spend it) in a rich area, so I was surrounded by these kids who were ruined by money. I feel like we buy and give our kids everything they want, 10 times more then I ever even considered possible at their age. And I worry about the affect it will have on them. But I cant compensate for that by always being the stern disciplinarian. But I do wish they had the respect to do what I expect of them, the first time I tell them.
I dunno. They are good boys, and still little (4 and 7), but as a father you live in fear of what they may become, and dreaming of how great they might be. Its the greatest challenge of your life, bar none. Randy Pausch seemed to have the perfect balance, to have found peace with himself, his children, his wife, and with his terrible disease, if that is possible. He left us all with words of wisdom and the challenge to find that peace within ourselves.
That’s all I got, folks. Such a sad night. I need to go now and check on my sleepy boys.