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  1. James Seamarsh

    What surprises me is how, as I get older, I become aware of things my parents knew but never told me. I am becoming aware of these things because of my own children, who do things I remember doing when I was their age. These things are usually about the way my children deal with unexpected events. When they were young, I told them what to do. When they became adults, I told them what I would do. Now they are all over 21, which means they don’t ask me for my advice. What surprises me is that now that I am over 50, I don’t give advice unless asked.

    A good example is the experience of looking for a job. I’ve had to look for a job some 14 times. My children don’t ask for my advice, my opinion, my thoughts, my observations. That doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t ask, either, when I was their age. What surprises me is that I don’t offer. I’ve learned the hard way that many things in life, usually the hardest things, are only learned by making mistakes. So I keep my mouth shut, unless someone asks.

    What surprises me is that my parents were probably the same, had learned by making the same mistakes I made. But what about the hard lessons my parents may have learned after they were 50? What surprises me is that I still don’t ask, even though I am now old enough to know that I don’t know. Is it because I know that the hardest things are only learned by making mistakes? But what lessons have my parents learned that they might be able to teach me, saving me from having to make the same mistakes? Maybe the hardest lesson for me to learn is to ask for help? I don’t know. Maybe I should ask…

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