Winning Words

Stormy weather isn't limited to outdoors

Column by Michael Norton
Posted

Now that I am officially starting my 19th year in Colorado, I think I am finally appreciating the finicky and unpredictable weather that blesses us every season of every year. Maybe it's my short or foggy memory, but I cannot seem to remember a season with more weather fluctuation since I have moved here.
I have traveled professionally and frequently since relocating here from New Jersey years ago, so maybe 2014 is just another typical and ever-changing year here in colorful Colorado, and I'm just not used to all the seasonal changes and storms.
But, it's really not the weather that I want to talk about today, as crazy and volatile as it may be. Instead, I want to focus on another topic that could be considered just as wild and sometimes as unpredictable … our children.
As another Father's Day has come and gone, I am reminded of the roller-coaster ride of parenting my own children over these past 25 years. My youngest will hit 20 in September, so I will officially be out of the teenage era. You know — the one where we move from being seen as smart, brave, funny, and even from time to time goofy mom or dad … to that place where children become embarrassed to be seen with us, deny our existence, and find our sense of humor less funny with each passing corny joke or request for them to pull their pants up above the waist. But I digress.
If you are a parent, a friend of parent, an outsider looking in on a parenting situation, then you know exactly what that crazy and unpredictable forecast looks like during those teenage years — don't you? “Mostly sunny today with a chance of drama,” or “Clear skies in the morning with a lack of respect and appreciation showing up around 3 p.m.” And then there is always this one: “The wind will pick up in the early evening, bringing with it a storm front of entitlement and selfishness.”
I find a certain beauty and wonder when experiencing the changes in attitudes and behaviors of my children. It is exasperating at times, almost to the point where I'd consider quitting the job of being a dad. But it is also an incredible blessing that keeps me on my toes, astounds me with both their exciting events and little achievements, and it fills me with pride to be a dad even in the midst of their drama, life challenges and experiences, and just every time I am blessed enough to lay my eyes upon them.
So let's remember that crazy, wild, volatile, and unpredictable storms of life will happen. Not may happen, but will happen. And when we embrace the chaos and challenges that our children bring us, love them unconditionally anyway, our umbrella of love will get us through any storm that comes our way.
What's your forecast looking like? I would love to hear all about it at gotonorton@gmail.com. And as we see our storms as blessings, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Highlands Ranch, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the CEO/founder of www.candogo.com.