I’d do anything for my son…REALLY???

anything for my children

by Kenneth Justice

~ “I would do anything for my children Kenneth….I just want them to be happy” he said.

Yesterday morning I grabbed a coffee from a little outdoor coffee vendor and sat along the beach to enjoy the sunrise…..an hour or so later a tour bus pulled up and I soon found myself sitting next to an early 60ish guy from the East Coast who asked me if I would help him interpret the map of the area he was looking at.

A view of some cliffs near where I was sitting

A view of some cliffs near where I was sitting

Turns out he is retired and was on the tour bus with his 30-something son who was off at the moment exploring the city. His son has been going through some tough times in recent years. Without going into the details, lets just say that his son is at a place in life where he needs to find out who he is and what he wants to do with his life.

If it turned out my son’s sexuality was something I didn’t expect, I would still love him and be there for him” the father said, “If it turns out he wants to pursue a career in something I never could of expected, I would support him

We talked for some time about the dynamics of Western Culture and I explained to him that it sounded like his son was simply having a difficult time in the U.S. because ‘perhaps he simply doesn’t fit in’ I said. “Much of the United States is a pretty fast paced society, and the vibe I’m getting from you is that your son isn’t the most charismatic or outgoing person….and sometimes people who lean a bit more toward the introverted side can feel like they are somehow disconnected from much of Western culture….everything you’re saying leads me to think your son feels a bit lonely” I said, of which the father agreed.

a worker on the beachThis father was a pretty amazing guy; because the entire reason he brought his son down to Costa Rica for the week was out of a desire for his son to get away from life back in the East Coast….to have a moment of peace and tranquility away from the bustle of the big city.

I love my sons so much” the father said, “And actually last week I brought my other son here on a tour bus; I wanted to spend a week alone with each of them and just enjoy each other’s company and let them see Costa Rica

The father was clearly not loaded with money, “Its not that I have a ton of money to throw around” he said, “But I know that both of my sons are going through some difficult times and I felt it was worth putting the money into an adventure where I could spend time with them, talking, seeing the country, and perhaps this could be an opportunity for them to begin finding themselves just a little bit…”

Sure, every parent can’t afford to take their children to another country simply to spend time with them and help them figure out their life……however,

—) A mother could take her son out to coffee once in awhile

—) A father could take his daughter for a walk

—) A mother could surprise her adult daughter at work and take her out to lunch

Sometimes, its simply taking the time and the effort to reach out to those we love and having a meaningful conversation with them.

One of the things that impressed me the most about this father is that he was less concerned about what kind of things his sons should do regarding careers, relationships, etc…..but that he simply wanted them to pursue whatever happens to be in their heart. Perhaps some people may think I’m silly, but I’ve always believed that we are born with certain things implanted in our hearts and that we are meant to pursue them……is that destiny? I don’t know……but I do know that if don’t pursue our passions; the world can end up feeling like a very lonely place.

Another day ends on my trip here in Costa Rica

Another day ends on my trip here in Costa Rica

As we sat there alongside the ocean we talked for the better part of an hour and half……I was surprised at how much the older man opened up to me; but I think he was simply looking for someone to bounce his thoughts off of….”Kenneth” he said, “I’m not a religious person at all, but I feel that this was a blessing for me to have met you and have this conversation….I feel encouraged that I’ve done the right thing in bringing my son down here this week” he said

I guess I found it interesting that this man who had clearly been somewhat successful in life (he had numerous college degrees) still appreciated being encouraged by a fellow human being. Perhaps it doesn’t matter how old we get; receiving reassurance from someone can help bring us a measure of peace.

Sometimes we go on vacation to simply have some fun in the sun…….sometimes we simply want to have new experiences in a different part of the country or world…..but for some people, like this father, going on vacation is about connecting with loved ones, about finding oneself, and about being their for your children.

The coffee is always good here in Costa Rica,

Kenneth

(P.S. If you haven’t heard I’m currently on a national and worldwide tour of 100 coffee houses in 2014 check out my link for the news and stay tuned for dates and locations <link> )

 



Categories: Drinking in the Culture

68 replies

  1. how wonderful
    to exchange elemental humanity
    with so called strangers
    and find supportive inspiration πŸ™‚

  2. Love it!

    I think a key word or concept here is ‘time’.

    It seems that so often in our fast-paced, instant gain society we want ‘credit card relationships’; instant & no fuss.

    Friendships & relationships are more like a good wine for me; they take time & effort in cultivating.

    Enjoy your travels & coffee πŸ™‚

  3. Between this post and the woman at the airport, your coffee adventures are starting off quite successful. Amazing how many lives you can touch, and vice versa, when you slow down and take the time to talk to a fellow human being. More of that in the world, please.

  4. “for some people, like this father, going on vacation is about connecting with loved ones, about finding oneself, and about being their for your children.”

    Sounds like something Jesus did, maybe something you are kind of doing (and Mr KJ that is not a poke or a joke – just a very humble and respectful observation from a very deep place). Beautiful words, lovely connection. Wonderful to see the love beaming out – drawing both your “father” and us in together. Always gets me thinking.

    • thank you for the kind words Paul…..and lets not get too kooky comparing me to jesus…I think I just stumbled upon the right seat a couple times where there were people looking for someone to talk to πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to meeting you in London, I’ve been looking at ticket prices so hopefully I will have a firm date for ya soon….probably gonna be towards the end of the year πŸ™‚

    • Hiya Kenneth. Love your “grounded” living. Your “stumbling” on the right seat! And if there ain’t a little bit iof Jesus in you – then fella you ain’t looking in the right places! Isn’t that true of all us? And a cuppa with you? Bring it on!! Just remember I am an “instant granules” kind of phillistine.

      There is a lot of “seats” between now and the end of the year. Keep stumbling!! You do it so elegantly!

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    • I think journey is a fitting enough word… what I blog about much of the time is about Joseph Campbell’s concept of A Hero’s Journey (from his book A Hero With A Thousand Faces) and I come back to Kenneth’s posts many times when writing about what my own personal, inner journey is.

  6. Pressed send too soon! I was going to say that it feels like you are taking us, your readers, on an adventure! Loving the photographs too.

  7. This post made me think… he was indeed what i can consider a good and concerned parent. And your comments about what a parent can do to cheer up a son or daughter really touched me because…. the things you mentioned are so small but so powerful. I wish i had that when i was growing up.

    • ” I wish i had that when i was growing up.”

      there were definitely a few times during my childhood where I would say that my dad was very encouraging….and other times when he was not…..I guess I chalk it up to the realization that there is no perfect dad out there

  8. Well stated, kindly compassionate and true in many applications of daily living. Quite interesting in its subtle focus on listening. Beautiful essay, Thank You for reminding us of what makes up a relationship. g

  9. Reblogged this on primordialpassages and commented:
    Well stated, kindly compassionate and true in many applications of daily living. Quite interesting in its subtle focus on listening. Beautiful essay, Thank You for reminding us of what makes up a relationship. g

  10. I loved this post. How important to reach out and touch each other’s lives be it a stranger or our own family. We sometimes forget that is what makes us Human. Thanks for all you share so well.

  11. Quality time, communication…such treasures πŸ™‚

  12. Oh the coffee must be amazing there. Of that as coffee lover i do envy you a little.
    What great stories does one find during coffee.
    It is amazing how so few take time to connect the way this man does and he show that it is not to late to connect with your children.
    Amazing 3 days to have read so far man.

    • The coffee is really good! all over the country I drive past coffee plantations…..I do have one little complaint though and that is the Costa Rican’s aren’t the best when it comes to being true coffee connoisseur’s….they don’t realize that they need to have stricter expiration dates, and they rarely use French Presses….almost everything is made via drip coffee makers…..but that is a very MINOR complaint because I’m literally drinking coffee most mornings no more than a few kilometers from where it is harvested!

  13. I remember going to see Wall-E in the theater with my father. It’s one of my greatest memories because our interaction during that outing was different than any other. I’m not sure why my dad was the only one who came. The movie came out in 2008, so maybe he was just feeling… whatever parents feel when their firstborn moves away to college. Nostalgic?

    That movie is one of my favorites simply for being connected to that memory. We discussed the science of the movie and the tiny things we thought were funny. Hell, we were even able to touch on subjects like health and environment without bringing politics into the situations.

    That father is indeed doing his sons a world of good. I’m impressed he took them each individually instead bringing them together. I imagine there are things they will discuss when it just the two of them that they wouldn’t otherwise say if their brother was there.

    • TK,

      I love the Wall-E example because where we connect with our parents (or loved ones I guess) can literally be ANYWHERE…..a walk down the street, seeing a movie together, anywhere…….its merely a matter of parents taking the time to connect with their children.

      and I also love that your dad talked to you about the movie afterwards! Holy cow…I wish every parent would do stuff like that.

    • People don’t like to do that… and I just got back from seeing Frozen for the second time. Some guys in the front were almost out of their seats in shock at the… well… the very anti-Disney thing that happens. How I would love to discuss in detail the different concepts that mix in that movie. Oh well… I’ll get their in my Disney reviews someday ^_^

  14. Great post! I called my daughter (she was a teenager) at work one day to tell her I love her. She was so mad at me for doing that, that we had the biggest fight of our lives when she got home, left to live with a friend, and about 6 months later, finally talked to me again. I guess I should have gone to her work to tell her I love her.

    • I guess its good that it at least worked out in the end…..holy cow, that must have been a difficult situation to be in; a fight because you call her at work to say you love her!!!

  15. Perhaps maybe I should not have called her at all. 😦

  16. As strange as this may sound, each person needs to connect in the way that is most appropriate for their situation. When I was going through my roughest time in life…leaving my religion, my father and I connected because he openly showed me that he still loved me, even thought our religion said that he should shun me. There was always the hope that I would one day return but after five years he said, “You’re never coming back, are you?” When I said no, he understood and he simply stopped hoping I would. He never made me feel bad about the decisions I made.

    My daughter and I have quite a different relationship. We thrive when we have distance between us…with little or no guidance. She is a stronger person when left to make her own choices and when we are too close, she forgets her strengths. During one of her most challenging life events, I moved away…far away…and she had to figure things out on her own. I was ALWAYS in communication but far enough away as to not micromanage or be the person she ran to whenever she felt overwhelmed. For her, this worked…to someone else this would have been a relationship breaker. Now, her father can get away with living relatively close and having lunch once a month…that works for them.

    I’d be curious to see how this vacation time with his sons works out for them. It’s not unlike a younger man spending the day with just one son…to have a specially bonding day. What makes it unusual is that his sons are grown up.

    • ” was ALWAYS in communication but far enough away as to not micromanage or be the person she ran to whenever she felt overwhelmed”

      absolutely key; giving them enough space…but staying as close to them as possible so they know you are there for them.

  17. I remember a night when I was pregnant with my first child, I was rocking in her nursery and wondering what her life would be like. She had a very happy childhood and showed exceptional talents. Then in adolescence she was teased by boys on her bus. She was bookish and not dressing like the girly girls. Over time she with drew more and more. We tried many doctors and treatments. Yesterday, I took her to apply for services. She wrote in the space for disability Mental Illness/ social anxiety. Afterwards I asked her where she would like to go for breakfast. We went to Java Joes and drank coffee and laughed about ice skaters, Wood Allen, anything she wanted to talk about. My heart breaks that she is suffering so much. I can only pray that I was her mother to help her through to a better life. I work hard to be. Your Dad there in Costa Rica is my soul mate.

    • Ellen,

      I’m hearing more and more stories these days from people who went through bullying at school and how much it had a negative effect on their lives. It seems like its time for American Schools to put an end to bullying once and for all.

  18. So many times lately, I’ve noticed people feeling the need to preface comments with, “I’m not a religious person, but….” What is with this need to clarify?

    As for the dad, it’s refreshing to see someone just take things in. I used to be super harried to do things “that right (ie Western) way. Now I’m wondering if it is really the best thing after all?

    Thinking of the son, it makes me wonder what I would have done if I hadn’t felt the need to DO.

    • “So many times lately, I’ve noticed people feeling the need to preface comments with, β€œI’m not a religious person, but….” What is with this need to clarify? ”

      that’s a really good question. Now that i think about it, maybe that’s why I included that particular quote from the many different things he said….because I never even mentioned god or religion once during our conversation but for some reason he used the ‘clarification to preface his use of term feeling ‘blessed’…….interesting, interesting, interesting.

  19. Lovely. I found myself ruminating over much the same thing a bit ago. Far better to spend time with your community, the quality aspect of just being together. Enjoy the pura vida, and the coffee.

  20. Now that’s a deep thought. Thank you for sharing this. It really is helpful as a parent to enjoy those unexpected surprises.

    http://livinginthefreeworld.com

  21. I wish more parents would be concerned with helping their child start the process versus imposing what they think the child SHOULD be doing. This father needs to spread his philosophy πŸ™‚

  22. I’d do anything for my son too.
    Love for a child will break the law.(not that I’m planing to) unconditional love, best blanket a child can grow.
    Your man just need it to share his sadness and pain with a listener like you. Last night I had a friend over from NY just to talk about her rough life, family problems. Stayed up late listening, meant the world to her. We are human being.
    Wonder who’s sitting next to you nowπŸ˜ƒ again, your pictures make an amazing album.

    • “Wonder who’s sitting next to you nowπŸ˜ƒ again, your pictures make an amazing album.”

      lol always someone sitting next to me πŸ™‚ …..I barely have enough time to write all the stories down of the people I’ve met……

    • You need a note book with you, not napkins..lol they might right down a secret or just sign their names?? Just a thought. πŸ˜ƒ

  23. Yet again, another awesome post Kenneth. What I’m noticing in this string of posts from Costa Rica and your conversations with others is that you are noticing how valuable relationship is and that what we so often view as important isn’t so much so after all. It’s the little things that count. Things that don’t cost or make us money, like relationship. Like taking the time out to listen to another and be there for them.

    “Perhaps some people may think I’m silly, but I’ve always believed that we are born with certain things implanted in our hearts and that we are meant to pursue them……is that destiny?”
    –Totally agree with you here. I wasn’t made for nothing. I have a purpose.

    Blessings=)

    • “Things that don’t cost or make us money, like relationship. Like taking the time out to listen to another and be there for them.”

      interesting observation…..I have noticed that people here are much happier here and yet they have much less than people in the U.S.

  24. I became a little emotional reading this (a good thing).

    My daughter is an Aquarius so she was confused by the impromptu hug I gave her…lol

    Ps. Yeah you’re making me want to go to Costa Rica

  25. Wow, really well written and heart felt. I feel like I need to call my mother.

  26. Your piece brought tears to my eyes. Those sons are blessed with a father who gives them what we all crave — unconditional love. I pray that they realize it. Blessings and happy journeys, Lydia

  27. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

  28. Hey, having a cup of black coffee with you right now. I think your writing is going through a transition; absolutely love your travel tales. you should do this more often. Hope the young guy finds direction.

  29. yes, the greatest gift we can give our children. time. time to be together. I have taken both sons to weekend trips to the Swedish capital (individually), my plan is to take them (individually) to London.

    But it is not necessary to go wild and crazy. Before the youngest started school we had Friday dates at the local coffee house (FFF=Friday Fika (Google it) with Fabian). Just to be together. But you can also sit by them for 30 minutes or so when they go to sleep and chat about.

    I am also happy I have understood that all I want for my children is happiness. Their happiness. If that results in being a lawyer, doctor, worlds sailor, artist etc etc, whatever makes THEM happy (and do not harm anyones else).

    • Louise,

      “but you can also sit by them for 30 minutes or so when they go to sleep and chat”

      absolutely! That is one of the coolest things a parent can do with their children…simply take those few moments to talk about the day or whatever happens to be on each other’s minds πŸ™‚

  30. About 4 years ago, my husband left his job making 60k a year to follow his passion of being a historian with our state. It was a ridiculous pay cut. But it means more to both of us that we’re living with passion than being a slave to what others think we should do. Not going to lie, some days I miss being able to just “go grocery shopping” or go out to eat, but he’s happy. He’s *happy* doing what he was truly born to do.

    • Jenn,

      awesome! I think your husband is totally on the right track because i would much rather earn less yet pursue something i love than earn more and do something i don’t enjoy

  31. It’s wonderful reading all these stories! Enjoy Costa Rica, the coffee there, and the great conversations you have with all kinds of people! =)

  32. Sometimes, its simply taking the time and the effort to reach out to those we love and having a meaningful conversation with them.

    Last Wednesday, I put my foot down and asked my darling wife to get a particular room of the house clean. She asked me to take the kids out to dinner, so she could be free of distractions (as she’s easily distracted).

    While I was out, my 11 year old daughter indicated that she wanted some time to talk with me more, even more than the time we spent at the Carl’s Jr that evening (while her 6-year old brother mostly played on the playground equipment there), and so after she got her chores done the following day, I asked her to come with me on some errands so we would have some more daddy-daughter time.

Trackbacks

  1. Life’s Truths, Life’s Test | primordialpassages
  2. I’d do anything for my son…REALLY??? By Culture Monk | 2l2phant

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