Health with a “W”

In Family, Pursuit of Happiness on January 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm

There is something to be said for spending quality one-on-one time with your children.  This afternoon, my wife took my daughter out, giving me the opportunity to hang out with my son.  My first thought was to get in the car and go out to have lunch together, which usually means unhealthy fast food.  But I decided against it.

It’s another beautiful day in Texas – nothing but blue skies and crisp, cool air, reminiscent of a perfect fall day in New York.  I told my son to wear something comfortable because we were going to go for a walk.  Ever since football season ended, his exercise has been limited mostly to gym class a couple of times a week, which is not nearly enough.  With all of the holiday indulging, a nice, long walk would be good for both of us, not only for exercise, but also to have a conversation with no distractions.

We started out talking about a website that he and his friends use in his classroom, followed by some other small talk.  Although he was no longer bemoaning the walk, I thought that it was a perfect chance to discuss how important it is that the whole family starts to exercise more.

While many kids his age tend to go about their days unencumbered by life’s realities, my son doesn’t, largely due to his inquisitive nature.  Because of this, I share things with him that wouldn’t be of much interest to a typical 7-yr old.

As we walked the path that winds through the park near our home, I told my son about the launching of Waldo 2010 and the meaning behind it.  It started with a discussion about health.  I told him that I have made a commitment to exercise more and to start eating better than I have been, and let him know that this was something that we needed to focus on as a family.  Instead of complaining about it, he asked if he and I could walk the path more often.  He told me how much he was enjoying our walk and spending time together.

Before I discussed the pursuit of wealth, I wanted to make sure that he knew what I was talking about.  When I asked if he knew what wealth was, he replied… “health with a ‘w’.”  He clearly knew that was not the right answer, but he also knew that it would make me laugh.  I explained the concept of wealth to him, and told him that I was working on some different projects to make money.  After hearing about them, he asked if he could help.  We discussed what it is like for people that are very wealthy, like Donald Trump.  He said that Donald Trump’s life is perfect.  I explained that there is no such thing as perfection, and quoted him the lyrics from “Dust in the Wind” that appeared in the “Beyond Resolutions” post…

“…now don’t hang on…nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky…it slips away…and all your money won’t another minute buy…”

I summed it up by telling him that having your health and your family around you is much more important than just being wealthy.  I asked him, “would you rather be healthy and have all of your family with you, but not have lots of things or not have all of your family with you, but have all of the toys in the world?”  He wisely chose option number one.

Finally, we discussed the pursuit of “happyness.”  I told him that I purposely spelled it incorrectly because of the movie that inspired me.  After he told me the proper spelling, he asked me what the movie was about.  I gave him a basic overview and promised to rent it and watch it together.  Most importantly, I shared with him the fact that people can go through hard times in their life but still be happy and make their dreams come true.

Our conversation was so enjoyable that neither of us paid any attention to the fact that we had walked for miles.  As a reward, I let him choose where we would go to lunch.  He chose the place that I was going to suggest.  When I told him that I was thinking that too, he replied “great minds think alike!”  In a place known for its burgers, I went with the grilled chicken sandwich and no fries, and I’m glad that I did.

We finished our lunch and walked home, all the while joking around and talking about football.  When we got home, my wife and daughter were still out, so we seized the opportunity to play an uninterrupted game of Madden 2010.  He won by 10 points, but if I had to pick a winner for the day, I’d day that it is me!  I got to spend quality time with a great kid.

Even in the pursuit of wealth, I must admit – the best things in life truly are FREE!

  1. Sounds like a great day Adam! I’m inspired to spend more quality time with my boys and truly be “present”. Life often gets in the way of spending quality time. Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks Sandy. It was a fun day with him. I always look forward to the one-on-one bonding moments with each of my kids. Sometimes I still let life get in the way, but I’m working on it. I’m looking forward to sharing more of these stories in the future.

  2. The score is:

    Dad – 1
    Pending peer pressure – 0

    Dad time is an awesome thing and the fact he’s asking for more says you’re doing it just right.
    GO, WALDO!!!

  3. you guys have an awesome relationship, he is a great kid and your a great dad. so happy for you guys sounds like a wonderful day.

  4. It’s times like these to treasure and truly enjoy. My husband and I have had some of our best conversations while taking walks with our 10 year old son. We learn some fascinating things about him and his thoughts.

    • It’s so true, Allis. I think that you can connect on a much deeper level when there are no distractions around. I only wish that we started doing this sooner. Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. Great blog! Glad the two of you enjoyed your quality time together! We miss you guys! I wish you had the same break as us in April! Give everyone a kiss for me!

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