Believe it or not, I don't get paid to fish, (inflection of sarcasm and a smirk).Very, very few fishermen do. I work in the medical field, on the bean counter side, for my daily paycheck. Doing what I do I interview lots of folks for lots of different positions. I have a pretty standard set of questions that I have developed over the last decade or so and then I have my new favorite. I ask each candidate, "What was your best day at work ever? Tell me about it." This questions tells you a lot about the person's passions, their focus and what makes them tick. I have heard some amazing stories asking this question, especially in the medical field. I have also heard some not so great answers.
Yesterday I asked the question a few times during interviews and was told an amazing story by one of the candidates. I still can't get that story out of my head. It really showed the passion this candidate has for their job and those they serve. Today, I find myself asking a similar question.
If I asked my kids what their favorite day ever was, what would it be?
My kids are almost 8 and 4. I know they are impressionable and prone to like new shiny things. But what is my time with them meaning to them? Do our fishing trips even rank in the top 10 for them? How well do I know what is painting beautiful pictures in my kids' minds?
A favorite memory is not just a picture or a smile. When you think back on it, even though time has passed, it evokes an emotional response. You might tear up a bit, you might laugh, you might just get all warm and fuzzy. Any way you slice it though, that memory is buried deep. It lives with you, with its own heartbeat, waiting to be called to the forefront so it can give you a big hug again.
That's what I want to create. As parents, we need to strive to give our children as many beautiful paintings as we can. Planning those special outings, teaching about nature, fishing, ecosystems and the balance of life are duties we should proudly carry out, especially if we want our children to pass along our passion to their kids.
When they someday leave the nest, I hope in a moment of sadness, they can recall one of the great memories they shared with me and feel that warm fuzzy hug, looking at a beautiful picture we made together. And then I hope they call me so I can reassure them everything is going to be ok.