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This title is almost biblical, sounds like the Prophet Abraham and his son Isaac and the sacrifice asked by God. Luckily it ended in a lamb shank dinner.

So today is Father’s day, a bit of a commercial holiday like Mother’s day. But at the Farmer’s Market a lady from whom I bought stocks of rhubarb, wished me a happy Sunday (that is very Italian) and a happy father’s day, which surprised me. It also got me to think.

Today I am cooking for dinner 2 lamb shanks from well known local farm and their lamb is delicious. It takes about 2 hours to cook slowly with some thyme and rosemary. This is a meal I would have in Jordan every Friday, being prayer day for Muslims, we had the day off. Lamb in Jordan is a very traditional dish and it is prepared with much care. Lamb also appears at religious festivals, this of course is taken from Scripture and the Koran is basically the Old Testament with its stories and various prophets like Abraham, Moses, etc, including Jesus and his mother Mary.

So I was thinking if I had a son what would I want for him. I was reminded yesterday at a concert piano recital at the Club of Chopin, Bartok and J.S. Bach by young 12 yr old musicians, how education is so important to create a happy life and future for children.

I would emphasize reading and love of books, starting by books suitable for the age and then progressing to more serious books with time.

I would encourage visits to art galleries and museums, learning about paintings and its historical evolution and understanding what influenced painters is important because it develops the sense of observation and appreciation.

Learn to cook and appreciate food in many various forms. This is a life skill in my book, I find that people who cannot appreciate food or would not know how to boil an egg are deprived of an important life skill. Frozen food and fast food is not the solution, I unfortunately know people who feed their kids nothing but junk food because it is so easy to do so. Learning completely about vegetables and fruits, what is in season and what is not, appreciate cheeses from various cultures, there is more to life than commercial cheddar, baking is also an important skill.

This I would pair with learning about wines and how quality is not expressed in the price of a bottle, but the simple pleasure of what is good.

I would try to develop in him a taste for all cultures, pointing out that there is nothing to fear in what may appear strange or different. This is tied to learning languages, speaking a minimum of 3 languages fluently to me is essential to life, because if you speak many languages it opens doors to understanding others.

Above all, I would teach him to appreciate quality in all things and shy away from the simplistic and average.

Finally respect for people and a sense of civic duty and responsibility towards your community.

Children are a responsibility and need lots of care and at the same time the parent has to develop in the child self-assurance and natural curiosity. This is too often completely lacking in our world today.