I have a personal mantra, “Leaders are always learners.” Recently I re-read Scot McKnight’s helpful posts on the “Art of Conversation.” (pt1, pt2, pt3) Scot points out one key element to good conversation is an interest in learning. Over the years I have come to believe we may learn from nearly everyone. My friend Spencer Burke has said, “If I am not a little embarrassed about something I said yesterday then I feel as though I have not learned anything today.”
Raising girls must be viewed as something of a deconstructive event for a man knowing only brothers and mostly male cousins growing up. When people wince at the word deconstruction it is often due to the lack of “re-construction” which must inevitably follow.
Our youngest turns 19 today. In fact, we thought of getting her up about 7:20 a.m. this morning to sing to her as it was about that time she was welcomed into the world. Her entrance and these 19 years have been for us a great joy. Along with her sister, I type this for often she does not like sentences that indicate something of a comparison, we parents have learned much in the process of “teaching.” Our learning did not stop at any milestone in her life and we do not see that happening as we hope to learn and teach for the rest of her life.
Now, that does not mean she will not one day set out on her own. It simply means we will always be learning – as will she. For instance, I am hoping to learn from her skill at photography. Spencer, who is a professional photographer, told me Tommie has a natural knack. Watching, talking, listening will contribute to what I learn as I hope to take better photos. (Tommie took this photo during the ice storm in which we lost power. She took this and other shots around her grandparents neighborhood.)
We have been blessed by our girls. Patty notes the difference in me raising girls. I assume she is giving me a compliment!
Happy Birthday Tommie! Enjoy your day. Keep teaching us. Keeping learning from others.