Several years ago when my oldest son was about 4 or 5 we got him a small camera. Shortly after that we went to a fair of some sort in downtown Salt Lake City. Aaron went wild with his camera taking picture of the things that he thought were important. This was before the whole digital camera revolution so we had to send the picture off to be developed. When they came back my wife and I got the biggest kick out of the pictures. There were pictures of people’s knees, pictures of a hot dog on a table looking exactly edge on to the table, and all sort of other amusing details that revealed themselves to you when you have an eye level of about 32 inches. I need to find those pictures, scan them and post a few around the house and my office. I need a reminder that not everybody I deal with everyday is viewing life from the same angle.
As a husband and a father, I fear that I'm not doing a very good job of seeing events and situations from the perspectives of my family. I'm not as tolerant of behavior that seems ludicrous from my view but likely may not have the same interpretation when viewed through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, a 10 year old girl, a 7 year old boy, a 5 year old girl, or a stay at home mother of four.
Because of a recent situation with one of my kids I was forced out of my adult comfort zone. Aaron came to me in tears over a peer group issue and the details of his experience forced me to remember how I felt 25 years ago in a very similar instance. As I tried to do my best to help him, from my "adult" perspective, I couldn't help but feel exactly the same way I felt back then. Therefore, I was not able to respond the way I had planned, but ultimately I think I gave him exactly what he needed and what I would have wanted 25 years ago. With this change of view I was also able to turn completely around and see how my behavior was being perceived by him.
I learned so much about myself and who I am becoming that I plan to actively seek out these chances to change my perspective. Hopefully the results will be that I can be a better husband, father, son, son-in-law, and friend.
It's rather enlightening to look at the edges of the tables and people’s knees for a while.
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