I work at the greatest place in the world that behaves more like a family than a business- it's one of our founding principles. Our chairman and founder, Pat Fallon, passed away on Friday, leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of all who knew him. People who didn't know him asked me, "Have you ever met him?" as if he were a corporate board member we only dragged out for party tricks. I have not only met him, but I have dined at his house, met some of his wonderful children, and was doused in fart spray too many times to count by Pat himself.
Pat was the most humorous, compassionate and fearless business leader I've ever met, and he gave the best advice. Here's my favorite Pat nugget:
When I was 100 months pregnant, Pat asked if I wanted his best parenting advice. I said yes because I had no idea what the fuck I was doing, and he had raised some pretty amazing humans. What he told me seemed simple. He said, "Love your kids no matter what they do."
At the time, it seemed like such silly advice, but I took it to heart because the look in Pat's eyes told me I would understand someday.
That day came. I was on my way out the door Sunday night to meet up with a mama friend for a D-I-WINE night of crafting and booze. I went to the bathroom, where Matt was giving Cooper a bath, to kiss them goodbye. Cooper stood up, leaned in for a kiss and proceeded to shit the tub.
As I fished tiny turds out of the tub while Matt got him ready for bed (seems like he got the better end of that deal), I heard Pat say again, "Love them no matter what they do." I think what he meant was, "Love them even when they're assholes."
I know this isn't the worst mess Cooper will get into, and sometimes it will be hard to love. In those moments, I'll remember Pat's words and choose compassion.