Friday, January 9, 2009

Wasting Talents

Do we have a responsibility to share our talents?

I like my thought in the previous post about creative people acting upon the world, rather than just reacting to what happens to us.

Anyway...wasted talents.
My son Charlie. He's a teenager, which is 80% of the problem, so I guess I should cut him a little slack, but...I can't help feeling frustrated and disappointed with him.

I was an incredibly nurturing mom. WhatEVER his interest was, I followed up on it. I took him to the Children's Museum countless times, signed him up for workshops, classes, training, field trips--took him to plays and concerts, encouraged anything and everything he seemed interested in. And nothing...

Piano for a year. He has the world's longest fingers. Getting him to practice was a total nightmare.
Band. Interest there. Bought a saxophone. Interest gone.
Theatre. He GREW UP in KidsPlay. He's been on the stage since he was in Kindergarten. Did he have any interest in following up his KidsPlay career in high school? None.
Writing. I've seen some of his writing, and it's clever...but...he never finished anything.
Computer skills. For me, it's a creativity tool. For him, the computer is an entertainment machine. There's a HUGE difference. I can't get him interested in website creation, blogging, digital photography editing, film editing.
Tennis. Four years of private tennis lessons so he could make the high school tennis team.

It's just been one failed enterprise after another. It seems to me that anything that takes any effort at all was just 'too hard'. Tennis, he could have been good. He just didn't care enough to try. Piano. What a waste. I just think of all the enjoyment I got out of making music during my teenage years--piano, guitar, the recorder. But of course, it takes hours and hours to be halfway decent. He just has no ambition.

So now, he's sort of into photography. He claims to want to be a photographer...but is he out there taking pictures? Editing? Posting photos on a website? No. I just don't get it.... It makes me really sad....


  1. That is tough. My parents have seen it with one of my brothers. He's 16 now and has minimal interest in any of the activities he has chosen to be part of. I've also observed, from the outside of the family unit, that some of the things he is involved in are "forced" because of my parents or because his brother did them (Boy Scouts). Or if there is something he is uniquely interested in (wrestling), my parents can damped his spirit by giving him lists of tasks and schedules and requirements... instead of just stepping back and letting him figure it out.

    Some people just don't figure it out until they are past some of the angst of adolescence, too.

  2. While it is hard to see into the future, what you have given him in the way of opportunities will be with him his entire life. I played piano, flute, the viola, and was in choir. Yet, I don't do anything of those things today. I played softball, was on a synchronized swimming team, and I competed on swim team for a couple of years. Yet, I don't do any of those today. I was in brownies, girl scouts, Rainbow girls, and one other organization. Yet, I don't do any of those things today. But, what I am doing today is pretty incredible. I never thought I would be where I am in my life and I just see this as a temporary stop until I find the next thing in my life today. Don't be disappointed or saddened by what he isn't doing. He will find his nitch in life and excel on his time, not yours. Keep giving him the opportunities to explore what life is all about!