Farther Away

My boy celebrated his seventeenth birthday a couple of nights ago, and it felt unlike other birthdays.  Seventeen seems much greater than sixteen.  It feels much farther away from home.

He surprised me by foregoing the recent tradition of eating out at a reasonable restaurant of his choice.  For seventeen, he wanted simply to follow a good evening of kung fu training with a pineapple upside down cake.  I asked as we were leaving school if his training had been satisfying, and he told me with a smile how many forms he’d done and how achy he was feeling.  He was happy.

“You know we’re crazy to think that serious achiness is a good thing,” I told him.

“Yep, I know.”  His smile was even broader.

On the way home from training a few days earlier, probably under the influence of too much Gatorade, I told my high school junior, “Why don’t you forget about college and start a kung fu school with me?”  He looked at me as if an alien had taken over my body.

“Forget college?  You are suggesting that I forget college?”

“Yeah, I can’t believe I said that, too.  Never mind. Crank call,” I answered with both of us laughing.


Looking past the cake to the face of the baby boy turned young man, I remembered my so-called crank call.  And I was no longer sure any part of me had been kidding.

About T. D. Davis

13 responses to “Farther Away

  • Jase

    Do it. Do it do it do it. It’s what I want to do (see my article on Macaw on my blog). If you want to read any literature about following business enterprise instead of traditional school – college pathway, read the first few chapters of Rich Dad Poor Dad. Traditional schooling is not the only way of course, and whilst its true that crying in a Mercedes is more comfortable than crying on a rusty old bike, seeking financial wealth will not actually please an aching heart, as I am sure you know. After 17 years as a software developer, I want to pack it in and follow my NEW dreams before its too late. I have a 3 year self imposed deadline.

    DO IT, DO IT, DO IT – find a way.

  • amediablogger

    Opening a kung fu school would be awesome. What a wonderful career to have.

  • Cassandra

    Start it and the lover of Kung Fu will follow in your steps — with or without college. It seems such a natural.

  • arasmirnobero

    I’d also recommend Hacking Your Education by Dale Stephens for a great perspective on the value of college etc etc

  • Jase

    Look at this way….its the ultimate practical laboratory experiment for business, real life training on the job with a proper motivator to succeed. If he works for someone else, he will take years before he earns great cash, but this way, he is immediately a junior partner with a vested interest in success, which is directly linked to the amount of money he makes (unlike most jobs, where you just get paid to make others wealthy). During the downtime, he will be learning book keeping and administration duties, and if it doesn’t work out, employers are more likely to favour him for his courage and on the job learning – its a modern day apprenticeship!

  • ornerydame

    What a great post! He sounds like a great kid. 🙂

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