Lately, I’ve found myself talking more frequently to my boys about personal accountability. You know, things like owning their mistakes and taking responsibility for their actions. I’ll admit, my efforts getting through to them are having mixed results.
Consider this recent exchange while I was driving:
His unwitting admission took away any mystery about how it got cracked. So you see, sometimes admitting what you’ve done really isn’t that tough to do.
Flip it around though, and think about admitting things you haven’t done that you wish you had. That list! Wow. Now, that list of regrets leads to deep introspection and some soul-searching.
On a lighter note, I have to admit that until recently I’d never been to a top series NASCAR race. As a transplant to the deep South nearly 25 years ago, that’s borderline sacrilegious. Well, Southern sinner no more because our most recent outing took our Dads’ Bucket List crew into the belly of the beast – a trip to Talladega Superspeedway.
I rode co-pilot with Special K who took the cover off his baby parked in the garage so we could ride in style. I can confirm there’s no more fitting way to match the power and energy of a race at Talladega then rolling to the track in the family minivan.
Upon arrival, we had our minions set up to take part in a driver meet ‘n greet with 7-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Jimmie Johnson. Once there, he answered a question from each of the roughly 25 kids present. His answers weren’t canned, but sincere. He signed autographs and talked about his job. It was easy to see why he’s a star.
From there, it was on to some tailgating, people watching and then the race itself. None of it disappointed. The sound and energy of the cars is something that needs to be experienced. If there’s a sport that has actual feel, auto racing is it.
Before, during and even after the race we spent our gas money home on a bunch of Jimmie Johnson die-cast cars for the kids. It wasn’t long before one of them threw out the line, “ok, my johnson versus your johnson.” And the hilarity ensued from there. Fortunately that ongoing punchline provided enough fuel to get us all the way back to Atlanta.
Through the laughs, I thought about how Jimmie told us he got into auto racing. His words stuck with me.
“I grew up going to races with my dad – the biggest race fan on the planet. We traveled all over California going to tracks. I loved going to the races with him. I turned it into a career.”
If asked, I’m guessing his father has no regrets about all the time he spent at racetracks with his son.
And so I often wonder, will I have regrets about things I didn’t do with my kids? At this point, I have no idea. But I’m doing my best to make that list as short as possible.
Go. See. Be. Do.