by Dave Markwell

Several years ago while neglecting to appropriately monitor my young son; I heard some strange, yet familiar, noises coming from the driveway. The sound was my leaf blower pull cord being yanked. I left whatever comfortable perch I was residing on and went to check it out. As I observed my little boy attempting to start the blower, I was amused and proud.

I am a yard guy. I love the smells and sounds of two-cycle engines and the tidy result of my nominal efforts. A freshly trimmed lawn makes me happy. I enjoyed that my son was carrying my joy of this forward…or at least he liked using power equipment. Either way, I was happy.

I smiled and left my kid to continue his pulling. After a few minutes, the blower started. I was not expecting this. I left my comfy perch again and saw him pulling the straps of my back pack blower upon his little shoulders and begin blowing our driveway. Many responses came to mind, the one I chose was to grab some earmuffs and put them on his oversized head. If he can start it, he deserved to use it; was my thought.

As we enter another yard season, this memory warms me. It warms me with memories of my now teenage son as my little guy. It also reminds me of the power of persistence. My son kept on pulling in spite of no result for a long time. He persisted. Had he stopped pulling he would have left without the success of getting that damn blower started. He didn’t stop and he won.

It seems like many successes in life are more the result of persistence than any other characteristic. Talent, skill and effort are all important, but the most important of all may simply be persistence. Don’t quit trying. Hang in there and keep going.

A lot of focus is given to the power of a parent’s influence, rightly so, but it’s also important to not overlook the fact that our kids may teach us more. They make us better. They force us to confront issues we have no interest in confronting. And we grow from this. The little pains in the butt force us to evolve in ways we didn’t know we could or should. Devious creatures they are.

As I enter my forty-sixth year on this earth, I am grateful for lessons learned. I am grateful my own annoying instructors. And I carry a rich sense that “it” can be done, if I just keep going. Persist!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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