Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Areté

On Monday I got up at 6:30 a.m. specifically so I could hug E—, my 15-year-old son, before he left for school. Most mornings he gets himself up and out the door along with M—. We don't get that much quality time and I'm missing him. 

He excitedly started telling me about this thing called Intercession that he'd watched a video about on YouTube. Mind you, it's 6:30 a.m. I'm not much into morning until 7:30 a.m. at the earliest, and I was having serious issue making sense of anything he was trying to relay. In short he'd learned that Intercession was some insanely long essay you have to write in order to get a degree in philosophy. (This was my first clue that we're a little more than overboard on this topic around these parts.) 

I'm thinking, "That's great, son. Have a nice day."

At 2:30 p.m. I'm in Ethics, where we're discussing Aristotle. And the concept of Areté comes up. I've heard the term before, frequently. It's what E— and his parkour possé call Saturday group practice at the gym. I find out that it means "reaching your highest human potential." So OF COURSE I'm texting E— like mad to tell him what I've learned. Except that it's 2:30 p.m., school has just ended, he's worn out, and, well, meh...

I got home about 5:30 p.m. and held his GoPro while he ran through a battery of different parkour flips and vaults in the backyard. He thanked me for taking the time.

I'm giving the whole day a well-deserved passing grade in attempting to be family.


This was produced by one of E—'s parkour bros. E— did the cover art for the track. I think the track and the art, the boys and their skills all qualify. Areté.

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