Next I met Tony. (I have disguised his name for obvious reasons) I was flying back from Detroit and was on my Mac, trying to finish some work. Tony was the man sitting next to me on the flight. We had exchanged our initial greetings when we first met. Halfway through the flight, I heard Tony say, “I do not mean to pry, but I was watching you work. Are you some kind of an artist or what?”
I have to confess that I was somewhat thrilled at him calling me an artist. At least one guy on this planet has been fooled! When I explained to him that I have been traveling the country, speaking about responsible parenting, and that I have written a book about my own experiences, he wanted to see the book. As miracles would have it, just then the book appeared. (To those of you who are not used to my attempted humor, I have the book always ready, anticipating these requests which come but once every few months.)
Tony looked at the book and saw my picture. Then he looked at me to make sure it was me. Assured that it was me, he quickly read the back cover where I have asked a few questions targeted toward parents. Within minutes, I heard Tony again, “These questions are simple. I know the answer to them all.” I was excited as I, myself did not know the answers.
Here is a recap of Tony’s answers:
Q 1. Why do men go after power and glory more than spending time at home to watch their babies grow?
Tony’s answer: Power and glory pay for life and comfort for our families. It is important to provide for one’s family.
Tony’s answer: He did not know the last part, as Tony is self employed, but money is what pays for everything. Growing up poor, Tony realized that without money, one has to worry about tough day to day problems. Working hard to make money allows a man focus on my family, as then there are no day to day problems to worry about.
Tony’s answer: Not true, as Tony is completely focused on the long term. Long term is about providing for his daughter.
Tony’s answer: Do not know as I am self employed.
Tony’s answer: Hmm. Don't know.
Amazing logic! Or was it? Of course I do not know Tony’s daughter, but is that what she really wants? Does she want to play an expensive musical instrument under the supervision of an amazing and expensive tutor? Or does she want to simply play her heart out with dad and mom cheering her at home, in their living room? I do not know. But I know that the evening before, PPC’s ten year old daughter and her friend performed an impromptu piano and violin concert for me in their dining room. When they finished it with a “grand finale style” dance, I knew it was one of best concerts I have ever been to.
Back in the flight, Tony was still talking. I was looking out of the window and watching the setting sun as we got close to Denver.