Fatherhood Oydssey: Remember to have fun

Another beautiful insight that came out of some time I spent with my two sons recently was this: Remember to have fun when you do fun stuff.

Here’s the full story:

Transcript: I had a, really beautiful moment with my kids this weekend. So on Thursday when I went to their house, one of my two sons had watched a video back in Palo Alto. When my oldest son was, I think, three years old or so it was pretty little and he was jumping off small or high. Places for me to catch him.
[00:00:24]Now, it’s not that unusual for a child to jump and have one of their parents catch them. Right. It’s one of the joys of childhood. You jump and trust that a parent will, will catch you. The thing that made it unusual with my oldest is the way he was jumping. At times the height from which he was jumping, but also the style in which it was jumping in.
[00:00:45] There’s two videos of this. And in those videos, you can see my oldest back then he was three. You can see him jump sort of in Superman mode, like hands, chest up hands, expanded feet up with zero care in the world. At Tyler? Yes, we talked about this last week. Is, are you recording? The same thing was good last week.
[00:01:12] I don’t remember what I want to say last week, but I have something new to say this week about how we really talk about this, the trust thing. Yeah. Oh, that’s beautiful. I don’t remember that. We talked about this. Okay. So. So here’s the deal, so, okay. We talked about this. My kids have watched this video and when I was at home, there were practicing this a little bit. You could tell that they were a bit more hesitant jumping, the same way that they did when they were younger. Especially my, like my oldest was jumping with like complete abandonment of all.
[00:01:41] Like he was jumping as if he could fly. He didn’t care. So they were staying at my place this weekend. And, uh, at one point we did a big party in my bedroom, close all the lights. I had like little disco lights, by the way. I really highly recommend this to all parents. You can mine these like disco lights from China for, I dunno, like five bucks or so super cheap.
[00:02:04] But there’s so much fun. You put on some good, like funk music or celebration music or whatever, and you close all the lights in a room and you put on two or three of these disco lights and children will lose their minds. Right. They will lose that mind so much fun. Super it’s super trippy, but it’s so much fun.
[00:02:21] So we did a whole party in there and as we’re doing the party, my youngest one, my youngest one is typically not good with Heights. My oldest one was always good with Heights. He would always climb up really high trees when I would be afraid and scared. And he didn’t care. We talked about this and we talked about this.
[00:02:39] We never published any of these episodes, I think, but my youngest one was always afraid of Heights. So as we were partying, he was jumping off the bed, which is, you know, not that dangerous and I would catch him, but then he started. He started jumping with reckless abandonment that he had seen from his older brother in the video, because he felt kind of safe.
[00:03:01] The bet was safe. Any, he got himself into this euphoria of feeling so excited that he could jump any way he wanted it as crazy as you wanted to quickly, without me paying attention, I would always catch him. Right. You really got into kind of a new euphoric child state. That way you could feel that it was like, Oh, I could also go nuts and jump.
[00:03:25] Like I would never jump and that he’s got it. He can catch me. And this is kind of fun to be reckless. I see him go. This has got a phone get super into it. I had to calm him down after doing this for 20 minutes, I was like, all right, now daddy’s like gun I’m toast. I’m sweating. I’m like, let’s, let’s slow down a little bit.
[00:03:44]We go out after the party. At some point we go out, we go on a long walk, um, long walk to a park. And at that point, or there is a, a place that’s really high up in my oldest goes, Hey, could we jump from that place? Can you catch us and I go, sure. Let’s try it. And he goes up and you’ll sense. Now he’s a bit hesitant, right?
[00:04:07] He’s a bit older. And he looks at it and he goes, Oh, you know, are you sure you can catch me from here? I was like, I think I’m pretty certain, let’s try it. Let’s give it a try. And he jumps, but first jump is sort of, you know, kind of Tane. I get jumps. Like you would imagine a child jumping legs, you know, first like jumping.
[00:04:26] Into a pool, but when you’re kind of a, like, you’re making a, a stiff, I like stiff line. You’re not doing anything crazy. And I catch him and he goes, Oh my God, you caught me. Dah, dah, dah. Okay. And now, now he’s encouraged. He’s like, I’m going to go crazy. The surprising thing is that my younger one, my youngest son goes, I also want to jump and typically is really afraid of Heights.
[00:04:48]Dude I’m here. I can do even lighter than your brother. If I can catch your brother, I could definitely catch you. This is the rule. If I can catch you oldest brother safely, I can catch you. You’re much lighter. And he goes, Oh, you can tell it clicked in his mind. He’s like, that’s a good rule. I need to remember this.
[00:05:03] And he goes up and he jumps and I catch him. And he’s like, you could tell in his eyes, you win. O M G I didn’t know this much fun was possible to safely in. They run up and now they’re starting to go nuts, dude. They’re jumping off this point. Headfirst as if they’re jumping into a pool and you can tell we’re sort of, I am so low that, you know, most people that are walking on the sidelines of this, like big a wall, when they see my kids jumping, they don’t see somebody standing there, they can catch them and they see the way my children jump and it’s not safe or normal.
[00:05:47] Like I could just see the facial responses of parents as they were walking in. They’re all in shock. They’re just all like, do I have to worry that a child is about to die? Oh no, there’s a, there’s the father that caught him while the jumping this way, you know, jumping, this is not normal. And so most P most parents would walk past and just be.
[00:06:09] Glutes to us, you know, way past the point where I caught my children, they were still walking. Look at us. There’s sort of a, is this normal? Is everything fine? Yeah, it is. Why are they doing this? How are they doing this? Is this, how should I feel about this? Should I call the police? I don’t know, like super kind of confused.
[00:06:28] Then once in a while, there was like a dad that would pass by. And then although they were far away, the debt would. Like come closer, like walk a circle closer with a big smile and just look at me, thumbs up. And one of like one dad was like, amazing catch dude. I have to tell you great catch. I was like, all right, I appreciate it.
[00:06:48] And then my kids were totally hooked and we’re now walking for an hour, trying to find the highest places we can get for them to do this. There were a few places where I vetoed and said, no, there’s no way I can do this. You know, this is dangerous. But, you know, we fought a couple of places in my kids went nuts.
[00:07:07] That was just fun. And there’s, there’s something beautiful from a parent’s point of view to see your children in euphoric joy. But there’s also something beautiful about the kind of trust that they give you when they do something kind of dangerous, but they’re like my dad’s got it. Like I don’t have to worry about, I’m not afraid.
[00:07:25] Because I know my dad can handle this. This is something beautiful. Like there’s something cute about that the next day. So we did this on Saturday Sunday, dude, I woke up on Sunday with like a neck pain because I was, you know, I was catching them. It was not easy to catch them the way that we’re jumping, you know?
[00:07:42] And from the height that we’re jumping, jumping, I don’t know. I mean, one and a half to two meters up. And the, these kids are already, you know, I don’t know I’m with them recently, but last time I waited them, they were like 11 to 14 kilograms, like just in an awkward, uh, you know, uh, awkward distributional way.
[00:08:02] So, um, so did it this Sunday morning, I wake up, I’m like, all right. I do feel catching in my neck. And, uh, and there were obviously when we went out there, like, all right, let’s go and jump from all the crazy places and do videos at this time. And I’m like, Hey guys, we have to take it a little slow today because I, that is feeling it.
[00:08:21] Isn’t like, I need to take it slowly. And my oldest was a bit grumpy when we walked out. For whatever reason, he was kind of a little bit in a bad mood. but so we get to the first point that they want to jump off and they’re sort of excited about it.
[00:08:37] And my oldest jumps and I catch him and he goes up again to that, you know, it was kind of a statue, a tall statue, and he climbs up again to one point of the statue and he jumps off of it and I catch him and. He turns around and looks at me and surprised and goes, dad, I didn’t even have fun jumping. And I said, really?
[00:09:01] Yeah, I jumped, but I had no fun. This was not even fun. And I go, well, dude, maybe you just forgot to have fun. Let’s try one more time this time. Remember and make it your goal to have as much fun as possible when you jump. And he looks at me kind of like nods and goes, okay, I can try. That seems sensible.
[00:09:25] And I’m helping him up again. And he looks at me and I go remember. Right. And he’s like, all right, I’ll remember to have fun, fun. Remember to have fun, have fun. Okay. I got it. I think I know how to do it in the jumps. And I catch him and as I’m putting him down, he turns around, shoot smarter, and he goes, dad didn’t work.
[00:09:44] I didn’t have fun. I’m like, God, high five and high five minutes. He’s like, all I have to do is I have to remember them. Fuck. I’m like, dude. Yes. And at that moment I thought what a deep wisdom, this is all we have to do sometimes it’s while we do fun things, we have to remember to have fun. Cause if you don’t, you might miss the fun part in the fun activity, right.
[00:10:07] Or in life in general, I was like, dude, this is deep, such an adult thing to say. Right. You know, the, the thing that I bet I really loved is that when I a I loved his perception. And childlike honesty of jumping and turning around and puzzling kinda, I don’t know why this thing, this activity should feel fun, but I did not have any kind of like puzzled by why don’t I have fun.
[00:10:39] And then. Just taking my advice. No, you know, you, you know, when you talk to adults, we adults, you know, you give advice now maybe I should try. Maybe not, but then there’s restaurant associations or some defense mechanism. But in that moment, it’s not that he’s never doing that, but in that moment he just went, Oh, I should just remember to have fun.
[00:11:01] Okay, I’ll give this a try. It seems sensible, you know, and then he’s an enthusiasm and excitement or my God, this worked, I did have fun, all had to do is remember this on duh. And as he said that I went, wow. I should also remember to have more fun in life because oftentimes I have a fun life, but I don’t feel any fun.
[00:11:28] And the only thing that I really need to do is remember they’re fun, which is another way of saying have the presence in the moment to be completely in the moment and not in your head in something else.
[00:11:48] And since that moment I’ve been thinking, this is such a, it was such a sweet, innocent, quick moment. This entire interaction was maybe 20 seconds, but it moved me like it’s been on my mind and in my heart, since then, there were many moments with my children or even alone where I thought, remember to have fun.
[00:12:10] Right now and I’ll go, Oh yeah, shit. I forgot to have fun. You know, I was being serious in my mind. I was thinking about other things too. Totally missing the fun of this moment I would play. I don’t know, we’d play some board games with my kids and, you know, 10 minutes into it. They’ll go, Oh my God. I’m totally forgetting to have fun.
[00:12:30] I’m like in mind, somewhere else, I’m laboring through this game, while solving for different problems in my mind, just come back here and have fucking fun. Although it was just a quick, innocent moment, I feel there’s a profoundness in it, and there’s a message in it. That is.
[00:12:47]Especially relevant for me right now to remember, to have fun.

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