Paternal Predictions

22 Dec

Today’s WordPress Prompt reminded me of this post I wrote 5 years ago – it’s as relevant as ever. 

I hope I don’t turn out like my father.


Don’t get me wrong. I love my father.


Tonight we were doing an early spring-cleaning, just one closet. Out came the old coats, the worn out shoes, the broken kitchen appliances, and assorted memories.


There was a large leather portfolio that I dump unceremoniously on the side. It was just waiting to be placed in an organized allotted space. My father passed the wreckage that was the cleaning, and spotted the portfolio.


“My old stuff!” he said excitedly. He picked it up, cleared whatever was on the kitchen table with the sweep of his hand, laid down the portfolio and opened it.


Inside was my father’s old work. His work as a graphic artist, years before computers were standard. Where the artist actually had to be one, and not rely on the manipulations and clip art of present day (not minimizing today’s graphics artist, but it’s a completely different field with a different set of skill requirements).

He pulled out papers where he created an accountant’s sheets. He drew ALL the lines. Perfectly. He pulled out posters he created for concerts where all the elements where pasted on top of each other and then printed together. Brochures, where he drew the products, and the simulation of person trying it. He pulled out a yellowed New York Times, where an ad he created had ran. He pulled out several envelopes and letterheads in which logos he created graced. And then he just took out fun things that he drew with an advertisement theme. It wasn’t just, oh I put together the logo or I worked on it; he CREATED it.


“Ta,” I said. “You were amazing. What happened?” He just laughed and said something like,


“I’m so busy just printing now, I don’t have time to patchke on this stuff, besides, this is not how it runs anymore.”


“But, you’re so good!” I protested. He smiled for the compliment but sighed slightly.


“Maybe when I retire I’ll go back to it.” He said optimistically.


I always prided myself on having some artistic skill, I knew I got it from my father, and I’ve seen plenty of his personal work. But seeing today how he utilized his talents for business was successful and loved it, made me feel a bit inadequate in my dabbling in the arts.


But he’s not using it anymore. He loved it. He was great. But real life gets in the way.


I don’t want that to happen to my talents. I want to use them, for them to be me, not for me to tell my children years from now,


“Y’know I had blog when I was younger….”




Posted by on December 22, 2008 in Family, Musings, Parenting


Tags: , , , , ,

14 responses to “Paternal Predictions

  1. tembow

    December 22, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    great post!

  2. Moshe

    December 22, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    When I was your age, we wrote using a feather and ink, not these fancy pens you spoiled brat.

  3. corner point

    December 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm


    So whatcha gonna do with your blogging skills years down the line?

  4. tooyoungtoteach

    December 22, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I wanna write a book…we’ll see if that ever happens…or I could just stick to being a writing teacher, that’s using my skills?

    And I have other untapped talents and resources…Jack of all trades Master of none here…so I have my pick of skills to refer to in my old age…

  5. MS

    December 23, 2008 at 4:02 am

    ‘Tis funny to think that by the time our kids reach our age, blogging will probably be “sooooooo old fashioned!”

  6. jennifer

    December 24, 2008 at 10:30 am

    whoa – you’re sure that’s your dad we’re talking about and not mine??? i could’ve had this exact conversation with my father… except for the blogging part… isn’t it a shame? my father has the most amazing works of art stashed away in our basement…i’m lucky i got my kesuba – gorgeous calligraphy – from him, otherwise, there’s just no time for these sorts of things…:(

  7. tooyoungtoteach

    December 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Ye, Jennifer, your father has some really nice stuff too…he said he’d write my kesuba after I saw yours and fell in love (very minimalistic and modern)…think I should hold him to his word? 🙂

    Updating this comment 1/9/2013: He did write my kesuba. It’s gorgeous!

  8. The Jewish Side

    December 26, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    You know that was funny, surprising ending.

    But even if you don’t get to keep up whatever it is. It still makes fond memories. And it serves as an inspiration for your children to actually accomplish and not to stop. Like how you don’t want to stop because your father stopped.


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