My friend and I were having brunch at a place called the Frying Pan here in Hong Kong. The place serves up some great breakfast food at a reasonable price. My friend was busy on his phone while something caught my eye.
Two tables away from me were a father and his daughter. His father had an iPad and was reading to his 12 or 13 year old daughter the ebook “Around The World In 80 Days.” Their food arrived and during the meal, the father engaged the daughter in a variety of conversation pieces about the book. He asked a lot of probing questions about the character, the discussion talked about comparing this book and his other book 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The father asked questions relating to her experiences and connection to the book, such as how she felt about certain periods in the book and such. The daughter answered all the questions and asked more questions with why and how and such. The father answered and explained and this continued on for the rest of the meal.
It has been a long time since I have seen this kind of interaction in a family. I have to say I couldn’t take my eyes away from it because I found it odd in my surroundings. Too often, I see parents on one side and kids on the other with phones/Gameboys/PSPs and what not. The only interaction I see is either a parent yelling or a parent talking to the kid not engaging the child. There is a language issue here because this type of thing could be going on all around me but since I can’t understand, I don’t know if it is. I hope so though.
It also reminded me of the interactions I had as a child with my parents. I remember these types of conversations when I would travel with my father to ball games or helping my mom deliver produce to the local A&P’s. They were similar to this, minus the iPad. It helped me learn and to become the person I am today.
Finally it reminded me of an old adage where not everyone is born to be a teacher. Sometimes we just naturally are but choose different paths. I am not sure if the father is a teacher but I am sure he would make a great one.
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