My Son Turned 10 and it Took Me ‘Back to the Future’

Last month, on October 21, 2015, we celebrated Back to the Future Day in honor of the classic trilogy Back to the Future. It brought back nostalgia and a lot of talk about what the movie got right when it came to life in 2015.

My Son Turned 10 and 'Back to the Future' Became Really Real -

Since I was 10 in 1985, and on Back to the Future Day my son was less than two weeks from his 10th birthday, my wife and I thought it’d be great to enjoy the trilogy for our weekly family movie night.

Family movie night actually turned into family movie nights, as we watched part one, part two, and part three each on back to back to back nights. Part of that reason was Mom and Dad fell asleep during parts of each movie, so we dared not watch them all in the same night. I know, I know, how could we fall asleep. Cut us a little slack, it’s not 1985 anymore, we are old(er). 😉

Reliving our childhood through our kids

We enjoyed learning what the movie predicted right as well as wishing for some of the things they didn’t get right. And of course, we compared 1985 to 2015. And that’s what ultimately took me back. Our son turned 10 yesterday. He is now double-digits, just like I was 30 years ago in 1985.

I literally feel like I am living my very own “Back to the Future” moments. It’s one of the greatest things about being a dad of boys. And I’d imagine it’s very similar for a mom of girls. In the movies, Marty McFly was able to see himself at different points of his life. In 2015, at 40 years old, I feel like I’m seeing myself, in my son, at 10 years old!

Some of you can relate 100% right now. You have a son who looks like you, acts just like you, and is probably into the same things that you are into now or were into at some point. Not to mention that a lot of our favorite toys from our childhood are toys and games that are not only still relevant today, but probably more popular.

2015 is strikingly similar to 1985

Just look at all the things we see now on the big screen or on TV: the Royals win the World Series, movies like Transformers, G.I. Joe, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong (from the movie Pixels), and next month Star Wars. Sometimes I think this is just a faster-paced 1980’s!

It not only had me thinking about the things I’ve learned and remember from my childhood, but thinking about the things that were really most important and had the most positive impact on my life. And now in my role as Dad, I’m thinking of what will be the most important things my kids will learn and remember from their childhood.

Here are three things that will have the most impact on our kids in the future:

  1. Knowing dad was there. In all the major memories of my life, my dad was present for all of them. Coaching and watching my sports, sitting on the front row at church every Sunday, meetings with my teachers and coaches, trips to and from college in South Carolina (12 hours from home), my wedding day, the birth of our three kids, and many more. For our kids, having dad there will be a major impact on their future.
  2. Wanting the best for them. My dad has always been one of my biggest fans–if not my biggest. That has been huge for me. I knew he was rooting for me and if possible would help when needed. This is huge for our kids. Our kids need support, need cheerleaders, and need to know they can do it. When we hope for and believe in the best for them it has a ripple effect. Be sure your kids know you want the best for them, and will do all you can to help them be and achieve their best. 
  3. Having a sure foundation. Since I was 6 years old, my parents have lived in the same house. While my room has been converted to my mom’s office (painted pink), when we go home that house is there. Pictures are hanging (including tons of grandkids now), but that house has always been a foundation. For us today, we’ve moved a ton of times, many due to financial struggles that led to our homeless seasons, but one foundation has remained for us all. That is we base our lives and our choices on our faith in Christ. No matter how many times we move in the future, or how far our kids move away, that foundation will remain for them and us.

Back to the Future made me look at my past and the future of my family in a new light. I’m hoping what I’ve written here does the same for you. And I hope you focus on the things that will have the best impact on your kids’ future.

Question: What can you do more of–or less of–to have a positive impact on your kids’ future? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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5 thoughts on “My Son Turned 10 and it Took Me ‘Back to the Future’

  1. I was 6 when the movie hit the screen and the Royals beat the Cardinals. I was pretty sad in the moment but the next day I don’t think it mattered. Things were good for me back then but several years later I would experience what divorce was like as a kid. Like Marty I’ve been trying hard to change the future and not repeat it myself. I found myself in the midst of divorce in 2008. Marty didn’t quite trying. My 2nd wife and I will continue to shape the future for our kids so they can grow up in a stable home where Dad is there. Unfortunately I can’t spend everyday with my oldest son who is 12 because he lives in the Midwest and I’m on the East coast but he knows I’m here for him always.

    I do think about my childhood a lot and even though it may not be pretty I can say I understood that I had a choice to accept my environment and what has happened or make a choice do something different. You can learn from you experiences or you can repeat them. Though on the other end if I would have not had this experience growing up I don’t think I would be exactly where I am at today and know what I know. I consider those days my toughening stage where I developed all my grit which prepared me for the future.

  2. Wow Jackie, thanks for making me feel old.. lol… Good post man!
    For me, my dad passed away when I was 4. Needless to say, I didn’t have a fan for a dad or a role model – except my grandfather.

    But must say – one thing I’ve learned in the last 24 four years of parenting, our children are definitely a magnification of ourselves. I see so much of me in all four of them that it’s kind of scary :-). Fortunately, most of the best qualities they got from their mom, lol..

    One of the things we do to have a positive impact in their lives, in addition to being there for them as much as possible, (especially since we homeschool them), is we give them a road-map for life, sort to speak. We create a yearly vision for each one of them, helping them navigate through life smoother than we did growing up. We also tell them, and show them that be believe in them, and in whom God created them to be. I think that provides a good structure of security and expectaion for a good future in their lives. Of course, not forgetting their most imporant position and their most important fan of theirs – Jesus Christ. They know his alwasy watching them because he’s crazy about them.
    Hey thanks again for the cartoon and toy memories. Yikes, I wish I was only 10 in 1085… lol.

  3. Hey Jackie,

    This is a poignant post for me because I lost my Dad in 2014 to a protracted battle with cancer. My son will turn ten in February and I increasingly see myself in him. The three things you listed were true in my life as well: my dad was always there for me, he wanted the best for me, and he gave me a sure foundation. It’s funny that of all the things dads think they are supposed to do as provider and leader of their family these are the most important and don’t cost a thing.

    I try my best to be there for my kids–whether it’s a listening ear, someone to laugh with, or someone to play with. I work hard to let them know I want what’s best for them even when they don’t understand. And most importantly I have tried to provide that sure foundation. My walk with Christ is paramount in the way I live my life and lead my family. Without the foundation of my faith, I wouldn’t be the man I am.

    Thanks for the reminder to continue to be there for my kids and lead them well. I know what an impact my dad made on me as a man, a husband, and a father–I hope my life does the same for my kids.