When i think about what i want to teach my children it's lots of practical stuff like how to iron, do basic mending, manage money and know at least some plant basics. There are bigger hopes as well of course; that they'll be observant, empathetic, hard-working young men one day. I might have said ambitious, but i have a little trouble with that word.

I was raised to do my best, to work hard and to always try to make things better than you found them. I still believe those things and try to live my life along their tenants. The word "ambition" was often thrown around when people described me and it felt obvious to be described as an ambitious person. Over time however, i've questioned the connotation of ambitious as someone that puts the striving, the accomplishment, above everything else. Maybe that's just my take, but that's the tenant of ambition to which i am not reconciled.

I hope to impart to my boys a blend of ambition and contentedness. I want them to want to make change for the better, to see how to fix things and do something about it, but i also want them to be able to say-- "things seem good enough right now so i'm just going to enjoy this time." There are always things to fix, some more urgently than others and i hope the boys see these things writ large and small and DO something about them. But i want them to find calm, some peace in their lives that let's them enjoy downtime without frantically looking to make things better. Some times things are just good enough.

I haven't figured out the appropriate way to "show" this skill- this life balance i wish for them. But i have a feeling it's a matter of them just living life like we try to-- balancing our striving times with our times of acceptance-- no needle-threading practice sessions involved.

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