Jimbo Fisher and the Apparent Futility of Parenthood


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Giorgio Newberry is a fifth year senior at Florida State.  He has had a minimal impact on the program during his first four years on campus.  Last Saturday night, he was player of the game for the Seminoles.  As I read the first few paragraphs of the article, I got somewhat emotional thinking of how many practices Newberry must have attended where he failed to distinguish himself or stood on the side as reps went to other players, and the type of resolve it takes to endure and make the most of his opportunity last Saturday night.  As I read on, it was apparent that for much of his time on campus, Newberry was his own worst enemy displaying a lack of effort and a lack of attention to detail.  The coaching and resources of the program were at his disposal every bit as much as all the players that kept him off the field, and he did not make it happen.

Coach Fisher was proud of Newberry, and said, “It’s like I say, you can coach your kids and teach your kids all you want, when they walk out the door of their house, they’ve got to decide what they want to be.”

I am the father of three teenagers.  I have spent the last 18 years trying to provide love, support and guidance in the best way that I can, and there are many days when it feels utterly ineffective.  As my kids have entered their teenage years, it has increasingly felt like my voice in particular holds less weight than any other, and the frustration of this is beyond measure.

“…you can coach your kids and teach your kids all you want.”

I am 44 years old.  I have experience through lessons learned and mistakes made that may help each of them to avoid a painful pothole or plot a cleaner course through life.  I am a resource, not just of money, but of knowledge that in this most critical of ways remains largely unused.  I have varied my tactics of communication and patiently waited for moments ripe to dispel my wisdom, but the clock is ticking.

“…when they walk out the door of their house.”

My oldest started college last week and he has spoke openly of wanting to move out of the house.  His twin siblings are not be far behind. There is a sense of palpable desperation descending on me that I have not given enough and somehow failed in the most important responsibility of my life.

“…they’ve got to decide what they want to be.”

I can and will love, support and guide each of them.  I am granted only one life to live…my own.  Camden, Holland and Bryson must live their life and “decide what they want to be.”

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