Jon and Mikaela on the teacupsI can’t really answer with one someone who inspires me. That would be like choosing between my children. Well, it WOULD BE choosing between my children. Whenever I have doubt about anything that I’m doing, I look at my children, and they’re my North Star. They inspire me to be a better person, to make better choices – even this site has its roots in the trip to Walt Disney World that I was inspired to plan for my children.

I have no illusions about my children – I won’t pretend they’re flawless snowflakes. My daughter is 10 years old, going on 22 (at least in her mind). I’m not really ready to be the father of a teenager when she is still only (what I call) a “tenager.” My son is 6 and has impulse control issues that can certainly make life interesting. But I wouldn’t trade anything for the time we spent together this afternoon, when my son invented a Pictionary-type game for us to play together or snuggling on the sofa playing Animal Kingdom together on Facebook (it’s really his game – I’m not allowed to play unless he’s playing with me). And tomorrow, when the kids are out of school because of a teachers’ in-service, Mikaela has turned down a day of reading, playing with friends, and watching Disney Channel to come and spend the day with me at my office. She’s done this before, so she knows that I’m not going to be able to spend my day entertaining her – I have work to do. But we get to hang out together, have lunch together, enjoy the drive downtown and back home together.

And on those days when I’m frustrated with things at work, or cringing at the air conditioner repair bill, or tired from the extra work I do so that we can take those Disney vacations – I just look at pictures like this one, and I’m reminded of my inspiration for doing all of it.

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