So yesterday (as of a few minutes ago) was my son Derek’s 21st birthday.
So what did we do? I invited Derek, and his younger sister Lauren (18), to a Tweetup here in San Antonio. The establishment says they think we had 75 people there. I’ve been doing local Tweetups for a couple years. This is the first I invited my kids to. It was a special day for me. My son is now 21. And nothing pierced, or tattooed; no records tarnished, no fingerprints taken. My work here is done 🙂
He can now decide his own future, and either learn from my mistakes (which I have openly shared with him). Or he can do it the hard way – and do it from scratch. Every parent hopes they teach their kids enough that they each start in a better place than we did.
So why did I invite my “kids” to a Tweetup? They use social media, but they aren’t overly geeky (OK, my son IS – but in a diferent way than me). I invited them so:
a) they could meet my friends and “other family” – my community. To include some coworkers, my new boss, and a couple of employees. I want my kids to understand what I do, even if it seems impossible that someone would pay me for making friends and treating people well (they actually do!).
b) I could buy my son his first legal beer (and did).
c) And honestly – I just wanted to show them off. As the custodial parent for about a decade, I wanted people to see that I didn’t screw them up!
I did NOT expect one of my employees to buy my son his first legal shot as well – DAMN you, Rocky!. Luckily my daughter drove (and at 18 she was drinking soda). My kids understand the perils of excess – whether that be alcohol, infatuation or anything else. Too much of a good thing is too much.
In any case – thanks to all my friends. I had a boss there, customers there, ex co-workers there, partners there, employees there, coworkers there, and job seekers there. And my kids there.
That’s what makes my job and life so cool.