Friday, February 13th, 2009

Pleased to meet you

Pleased to meet you
Email to a friend Comments (13)

Ari entered the world wheezing and fighting. Meconium had collected in his lungs, which made it difficult for him to breathe. He was whisked away into the nursery where the fluid was suctioned, an IV was inserted, air was pumped, and doctors and nurses hurried to get our little guy out of the woods.

The people at St. Paul’s were lovely. They took great care of him and us, and we left, admiring the great work these people do. Ari spent a couple of days carefully monitored and finally was released to us. He’s at home now, resting a little with his mom and getting to know his brother Oscar.

I wondered this morning: what things have I learned that I might share with Ari? It’s strange–I perpetually feel as though I’m missing out on the “right answer”; that being said, the following are notions that seem to have resonated with me a great deal in recent months, and perhaps not bad things for him to use/disregard as he chooses.

So, these are for you Ari:

Ask questions

Your mom is always asking questions. She wants to know about others and what matters to them. As a result, she builds strong relationships with people and really gains an understanding of complex issues. I think this questioning goes right back to her grandparents (and likely beyond). I’m trying to follow her lead more on this.

My questions are a little different, as I’m a more introverted. As such the answers I find tend to be in books, articles, and through exploration. I used to be embarrassed that I didn’t have more answers; now I just think it’s important to keep digging, looking, and learning. I’m of the mind that curiosity is an attribute to foster.

Find something that matters

Perhaps you’ll love tinkering with old cars, or traveling around the world surfing every wave you can find. Maybe you’ll want to help others, start companies, or (heaven forbid) become a designer.

I’m not particularly concerned with what you or your brother choose to do in your lives. I do, however, urge you to find something that means something to you. If you can find work like this, I think you’ll find something that many miss in life.

Surround yourself with nice people

It’s really difficult to resist the power of those around you, and if your peers turn out to be jerks, it will be hard to not get dragged into that. Of course, if you have enough good people around you, they’ll help you find your way.

When I trace back every good thing that I’ve been a part of, it’s directly tied to the people around me: Your mom; Your grandparents; Our friends; My business partner. All of these people have made it easier to make the right call. Stay close to good people and don’t waste a moment of your time with assholes.

Be honest

In my experience, it’s easy to spot bad situations but sometimes hard to resist them nevertheless. You’ll know when you’re taking a shortcut. You’ll know when you really didn’t earn something. You’ll know when something’s not right for you.

It’s impossible to make the right choice every time one’s faced with a tough decision, and sometimes situations are grayer than we’d like to believe. When you can though, I’d ask you to be honest with yourself about what’s right. So far this has worked out for me–if not in the short-term, most times in the long-run.

Do what you want

While waiting for your arrival, we watched a bit of television in the lobby of the hospital. It was sort of daunting to see all of those ads, telling all of us what to do and who to be. It’s really hard to turn off all of that junk and choose for yourself.

We’re surrounded by people living lives they think they want, but can’t find any happiness in. So far I haven’t met a person who’s truly found any lasting joy from their car, clothing or things. My suggestion is to listen to many, take in what you can, and then choose what you want… not what you think you should do, but in fact what you personally want to do.

A nice start

While the pediatrician was pumping air into your lungs, she smiled and noted that you were putting up quite a fight. When things weren’t as they should have been, you were swinging to get what you needed. I like that. Nice to meet you.

Follow @karj to hear about these posts first.

Comments & Trackbacks

  1. Evan Meagher says:

    Great tips. Following these, your kids will be hard-pressed to not be happy. Here's to fulfillment in (new) life!

  2. Maggie Hohle says:

    Great advice! We've got three teenagers and a five year-old. I'm going to share your advice with the teenagers.

  3. Ian says:

    Great stuff. I wrote something quite similar for each of our children upon their births. Beautiful words for a beautiful experience. Congratulations.

  4. dp says:

    Nice advice, and congratz. Btw, my child also had meconium when his birth.

  5. David O. says:

    Excellent advice ! I particularly like

    Be honest

    "In my experience, it’s easy to spot bad situations but sometimes hard to resist them nevertheless...."

    and

    Surround yourself with nice people

    "Stay close to good people and don’t waste...."

    Congrats, I wish you all the best !

  6. Jess S. says:

    Happy birthday, Ari! Congrats, Karj, and good luck with the whole sleep thing...

  7. Ed M. says:

    Thanks Eric!

    This one hit home as my now 12 year old daughter (Erin) had a late but rushed delivery. I barely got to see her before she was rushed off for the various treatments you describe.

    Erin sings quite a bit and almost always brings a tear to my eye when I think of the difficulties of her birth and how she is blessed with a beautiful voice.

    Your story has also allowed me to refocus on what is important in life and not to quibble over the 'small stuff.'
    To put it into perspective, layoffs are heading toward my group and I have been stressed a bit - however, in proper context, I have much to be thankful for.

    Happy Birthday Ari - Welcome to life.

  8. Mark Karjaluoto says:

    Hi Ari:

    Another piece of advice... just remember you've got great family who care for you, and an uncle who looks forward to doing very cool things with you and your big brother Oscar.

    M

  9. Yael Miller says:

    Eric- congratulations! The best present you can give to your child is a sibling! I hope Ari and Oscar bring a lot of joy into your life.

  10. Lovely. My wife and I are expecting in the next few days. Just the sort of stuff I hope my little on will discover on my blog in time...

  11. Bernard Hellen says:

    Beautifully written and expressed. Congrats and Ari is lucky to have such a thoughtful Dad.
    Bernard

  12. Able Parris says:

    Eric, this is wonderful. May your lives be blessed, and your boys grow up to be great people.

  13. Very, very nice. I'm sure one day your son will enjoy reading this, and will be very proud of having you as his dad.

Voice Your Opinion

Thoughtful and critical comments are welcomed, and we ask that you use your real name (just seems fair, doesn't it?). Offensive, derogatory, and dim-witted remarks will be removed or result in equally mean-spirited finger-pointing and mockery.

Required

Not published