Posted by: Kate | January 9, 2013

Who Do You Admire?

This question came up at a team breakfast for work on Monday, and it’s been resonating with me ever since. The question was “Who do you admire, and why?” I was at the far end of the room, so got to hear lots of interesting answers – everything from parents, to political figures to business people. Steve Jobs, Einstein, Mandela. Big names. I was thinking of some amazing educators in our district, and I did mention them. But in the end I went with my gut and simply said “My son”.

The truth is, spirited children are amazing in all their frustrating glory. And the specific thing I admire is that he is who he is with anyone. There is no false face, no fake it for the company, no be cool around the kids. He is exactly the same for everyone. While we are teaching him the nuances of control (being a little more polite in a more adult setting, for example) the truth is it’s an amazing trait. No be sweet to your face and snipe behind your back. No smile when you’re sad. No malicious, snide anger. Everything is front and centre and here you go. What you see is what you get. And better than that is his ability to honestly not care what others think about this. If the cool kids don’t like that he shows his joy, too bad for them. If an adult doesn’t like that he shows his anger, too bad. “I’m not going to change for anyone,” he has said on more than one occasion.

As I said, we are teaching him control in the sense of being mad without being hurtful, or being happy without being disruptive. It’s pretty complicated, all these social rules, if you’re someone who doesn’t see a point to them.

So, who do you admire, and why?

I realized later that in this trait he is a more intense (there’s that spiritedness) version of his dad, who also is someone who rarely puts on a social face, as I call it. I’d also like to point out that I told Bushboy that I was going to post this, and he was ok with it.



  1. I so admire you, Kate. Bushboy’s so lucky/fortunate to have great parents like you. His admirable traits shine through in the pics you’ve posted of him. Way to go!!

  2. The social face can be such a burden. If we were all a bit more like your son we could all take off the masks.

    Lately I’ve been admiring Jamaica Kincaid. I admire how comfortable she is when she discusses her work and the way she weaves her life into her fiction without seeming to feel a need for an in depth explanation describing why. She seems true to herself. Also, when I read her work I feel as if I’m in a dream.

  3. I think what you wrote here is great…I’m a bit like BB in that I rarely care what others think and what you see is what you get (with the understanding that sometimes in a professional setting I can’t do that!)…it made me a loner in high school but as I get older, I find more and more people admire that trait I hope BB doesn’t change…as peer pressure will get more intense in high school.

    I won’t attach a name to the statement but I admire anyone who strives to change their lives for the better. This could be by making very difficult changes or by actively doing things that make us happy. I struggle with this so it’s a trait I admire.

  4. My husband. Strong, smart, dedicated, and a big part of why our kids are so level headed. He works hard, plays hard, and never forgets that his family is the most important thing to him. He continues to learn and grow in his field, and strives to do good work for the world. Also, he adores me, which is not always easy to do.

  5. i love this post kate.
    you have such an amazing son and you and mr.kate are doing such an amazing job of guiding him along the path on his journey to adulthood.

Welcome! I always like to hear what people think of a post, it often leads to a great discussion! I am now responding to comments and questions right in the comments themselves, so other people can follow the conversation.

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