Your son is a competitive eater and today he’s competing in the most important hot dog eating contest of his life. He’s made it this far thanks to your encouragement and your lessons of how important it is to discipline yourself to finish whatever you start, whether it be a plate of coleslaw or a plate of 75 hotdogs and some water.
You can’t be there to cheer him on because you’re in jail for embezzling from your own company, the company you built from scratch. Your son hasn’t visited you yet. The last you talked, it was the night before the sentencing.
“Is there discipline in stealing from what you’ve created? Do you take pride in hobbling your life’s work?”
“It was for your training,” you offered. You sent him to a Competitive Eating, Plate Spinning, and Sword Swallowing camp and it was very expensive.
“So it was for me that you threw away everything,” he said.
“It was for you that I did whatever it took.”
He put his hand on your cheek, it was the last time he touched you, and he said, “Would you have been proud of me if you knew I was stealing hot dog buns? Or, Jesus strike me down, hot dogs?!”
You hung your head in shame, and you didn’t see him when he left.
The C.O. set it up so you could watch the competition in the TV hall. By the look in your son’s eyes you’ll know immediately that he’s going to blow this. By midway through he’s trailing by twelve hot dogs. With ten seconds left he throws them all up into the bucket they provided for him by his chair. Then he just sits there and stares into the camera.
He’s staring at you. He knows you’re watching. And he’s letting you know it was in honor of you that he threw away his dream. Now more than ever you wish you could go back in time and not steal that money. Not to set a better example for your son, but just so that you could be there today to teach him one last lesson: If you strive for anything at all, you should strive to be a better man than your Dad. Anything less, and you’ve failed.
Happy You’re Not There For Him Day!