Thank me when you are 30

One my favorite movie scenes is when Sydney P., in the movie”Guess who is coming to dinner?” said to his father, something like “It’s your job to raise me, you brought me into this world”. “When it’s my time, I will do the same for my children”.

There is no need for children to thank their parents.  If they choose to, that’s great.  But, I don’t think they really understand how much parents give up until the children turn 30 or when they have their own children.

The children will realize that

  • For 18 years, the children are truly the *most* important priority that drives where the parents chose to live in order for the best possible safety, community, schools.
  • Parents make decision on the type of jobs they take in order to spend enough time with their children.
  • They even make sacrifices to give up their careers for 10+ years in order to just be present and to be care givers in the early years.
  • They are not given instructions manuals to raise another human being, they figure it out and along they way they learn and hope they don’t make long lasting mistakes.
  • They deal with fears for their children, but have to control it for the sake of letting their children grow and learn.
  • They have to grow as humans in order to not fall into the trap of projecting what they want for their kids vs. letting the children decide and make their own mistakes.
  • They realize that they are flaw humans and they pray they can improve along the way, so their children will still respect them and their choices when the children grow up to be an audult at 18.

Well, I don’t need my child to thank me now, they will thank me when they are 30 years old.

Tony Tam (Li Zhi)

Senior Principal Engineer @ Splunk, ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org