Parenting is not an easy job, especially if you have a child who has challenges above and beyond the ‘normal’ struggles of daily life. Some days seem bleak. Sometimes you face a string of them and you wonder if you are truly up to the challenge. And then there are days like today.
Tonight I had an opportunity to put a smile on my teenage son’s face, after he faced many days in a row where smiling seemed beyond our reach. It was just the two of us, and I decided we needed a surprise. He needed to be surprised and I needed to be the one to deliver it. 🙂 It wasn’t anything big or expensive. It was simple. Easy. No stress.
One of the cool parts of my job is that I get to learn about some really cool, complex stuff that is completely outside of my realm of expertise or reality. The second coolest part is that I get to work with a lot of really smart people who take the time to explain it to me. 🙂 (They are *mostly* very patient of my questions and ignorance.) The reason I am invited to this party is because I have a knack for translating complicated stuff and making it easy for people to understand. One concept that I am learning about right now is the open platform. Here is a more ‘formal’ explanation from Wikipedia:
In computing, an open platform describes a software system which is based on open standards, such as published and fully documented external application programming interfaces (API) that allow using the software to function in other ways than the original programmer intended, without requiring modification of the source code. Using these interfaces, a third party could integrate with the platform to add functionality. The opposite is a closed platform.
Now, being a thinker (much to my detriment at times, especially when I OVERthink), I started thinking about this concept of open in terms of real life. Some people are too open; translated, we call this over sharing, TMI (too much information), PIA (pain in the ass), etc. (Not sure what this looks like? Find a hypochondriac on Facebook.) Some people are too closed; translated, we call this shut down; small-minded; or someone in need of a stiff drink.
But what if we applied the concept of an open platform to our own lives and way of thinking? We’re all born with a certain temperament, aptitude and skill set. Putting the nature vs. nurture debate aside, what if we could open our minds to different ways of thinking, problem solving, and basically our whole approach to life? We’re already halfway there with our standards and systems: structured education programs, religion, hell, even books like All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (we start young, don’t we?).