Advice to My Children

"Listen up, son"

“Listen up, son.”

I think it was Hunter S. Thompson who gave avuncular advice in Rolling Stone magazine 40 years ago:

  • Never play cards with a man named Doc
  • Never eat at a place called “Mom’s”
  • Never get involved with a woman who has more problems than you do

I’m starting a new category of posts: Advice To My Children (ATMC).

My father died six years ago at the age of 83. I can’t remember a single specific piece of advice he ever gave me. Which may be a reflection more on me than him.

He was a good father. I would say he taught me through quotidian action rather then with words. Allan Edward Parker, Sr., was a great provider for the family. He respected and loved my mother. He was always available and always seemed to be in a good mood. We had some great camping, fishing, and sailing adventures.

My two children, a boy and a girl, will probably be leaving home in the next few years. Any ability I have to influence them will wane significantly then. For the last few years I’ve been thinking about core concepts I’d like them to remember, if not take entirely to heart. Maybe they’ll refer back to these posts when life throws them for a loop or after I’m dead and gone.

Life can be hard, and we don’t get an owner’s manual at birth. We build our own manual by trial and error, learning from our elders or other reasonable adults, reasoning, observation, and through literature.

Why make your own mistakes if you can learn from others’?

Steve Parker, M.D.

2 responses to “Advice to My Children

  1. Lovely plan — I look forward to following your ATMC column. As the mother of an 18-year old and two 13-year-olds, I look forward to learning a lot in the process. Thank you for sharing this precious resource! Warmly, Conner