Our Story Begins:

What Have YOU Learned from Your Kids?

I think we all tend to lead different lives depending on where we are in life.

That’s not to say our personality changes completely and we go from one personality to the next. The core of your being stays, for certain, but based on life, experience, and knowledge you change. You’re never exactly the same person.

Bearing that in mind I have to say that some of the most interesting things I’ve learned in the past four years or so have not come at all from my life experience, history books or even my job – which is to write stories for television news after all.

Most of the newest things I’ve learned have come from my kids.

Before you roll your eyes and go “oh he’s that guy!” let me just explain. After my wife passed away I pushed my children to expand their interests and their hunger for knowledge and I helped to foster that knowledge. The wonderful end result is the fact that I learned as much about a lot of things, too. It also has the effect of showing my children that, while they’re learning something new, you’re never too old or experienced or smart to learn as well.

Related: Our Story Begins: Practicing What You Preach

My oldest daughter has gone into the theater. That may make some cringe. I have a lot of people come up to me, and then to her, and ask what she’s going to do for a living after she gets the theater out of her system? I don’t even justify their comments with an answer. If my daughter wanted only to be on stage I’d say they may have a point. However, she wants to know it all . . . and as a result of her studies I now know far more about script writing, auditioning, directing, what a stage manager does . . . and what a stage manager never does . . . as well as the gaffer, the lighting director, the crew, technical crew and everyone has to offer. I know there’s a massive difference for theater from film.

That also brought me to film . . . movies I’d never have wanted to watch before, including some romantic comedies and dramas and television bring me joy. I have learned to appreciate good writing, even watch Downton Abbey and truthfully enjoy it.

Dave's daughter, Abbi, in a Shakespeare play.

Dave’s daughter, Abbi, in a Shakespeare play.

From my son I learned just what Ray Harryhausen went through to make monsters for films like Clash of the Titans. From my other daughter I learned new songwriting forms. From my youngest son . . . I learned a ton about forests and areas in Poland that so fascinated him over the summer he has already planned a trip there when he grows up.

We like to think, as adults, we have the repository of knowledge that our children don’t. In many ways, that’s probably true.

Related: Our Story Begins: Increasingly Normal?

Yet when I took over as sole parent in this household I became another person. I kept my personality, but who I am is far different from who married Dave was. I run the household, make all decisions, and I take the burden without fail. I play much more music. I look to my kids and realize that, as much as I’m in charge, I also learn so much from their own thirst for knowledge.

It’s from them that I came to realize . . . when you stop trying to gain that knowledge is when you, yourself, are stuck and stagnant.

What about you? What have you learned from your kids?