Comparison Traps

He was mad. Not in a fun way either. He was ticked that he couldn’t draw like I could.

My 10 year old was struggling with the drawing app we put on his iPhone. (its our old iPhone 4 that only has games and messenger on it) We loaded an app on there because he saw dad drawing and wanted to draw too.

He considers himself an artist. He wants to be like dad. The funny thing is, Dad doesn’t consider himself much of an ‘artist’ in the ‘draw-cool-pictures-or-paint-pretty paintings’ sense of the word “artist”.

But that’s what he remembers. When he was little, I carried around a small notebook that I would sketch in. It was a season of my life that I revisit every once in a while. It usually comes on during periods of time when I feel a transition happening. (This past fall was the last time the artist bug came out in me).

He saw dad drawing, and saw dads drawings, and wanted to be an artist.

Today, he got mad because his drawings weren’t as good as Dads.

The comparison trap

I had to chase him down and remind him of our age differences. I do have 30+ years on him. Plus, God makes us all different – and his art will never look exactly like my art. Plus, I don’t draw very well with technology yet either.

But. Comparison.

I told him, “Buddy – I am never in competition with you. Ever.”

Is it a boy thing?

My dad is a banker. He was the CEO of the largest bank in the state of Kansas when I was growing up. Always a suit. Always a Cadillac. Always 9 to 5. Always seeing people acknowledge him as a business man. A Leader. A Banker.

Somewhere in me, I wanted to be like my dad. Yet, I hated math. Didn’t want to wear suits. Enjoyed music, performing and theatre (you can tell I really enjoyed theatre because I spell it the artsy fartsy way). I like reading.

The way God created me, was not how he created my Dad. I certainly believe Dad appreciates the artistic kid he raised, but growing up, it may not have been that easy to relate to me.

My son happens to be more like me than I am my dad. But he’s also like his mom.

I want to embrace his gifts, his similarities to me AND his differences, and … well, all of him. I want him to be his own unique person –  not competing with his dad for something that he isn’t competing with at all!

About Stu Gray

Stu is a voiceactor and Audiobook Narrator based in Nashville, TN. He is husband to Lisa and a Dad to the coolest 11 year old on the planet. He is a book lover and Batman Fan.

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