I recently visited my parents. My father has visibly aged since I last saw him this summer. Since then I have thought a lot about him.
Here is the interesting thing about my memories: I don’t savor the same things that others would remember about my father: the accomplished coach, the popular teacher, the respected church elder. What I recall are the small things: the time he taught me how to hold a bat; taking me to his school classroom on a Saturday morning to play while he did school work; or, interestingly, I remember the firm, but loving way he dealt with me after I had really messed up as a young teenager. Our first impulse as fathers is to worry about the “big stuff” — our jobs, our marriages, our kids’ health and behavior. These things are important. What stays with children, however, is the “small stuff” — the funny story you told them at bedtime, the time you taught them to make snow angels, or the time you held them in your arms after a bad dream.
• What favorite memories do you have about your father? What “small stuff” did he do with you that made a lasting impression on you?
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• Take time to see yourself through the eyes of your child. What do they want from you — as opposed to what you want to give them?
• Ask your child what they like best about you - the answers may surprise you!
The local fathering effort, in cooperation with the National Center for Fathering, provides bi-weekly action ideas to stimulate conversation between fathers and parents.
For more information, or to join local conversations, contact
Mick Trombley at firstname.lastname@example.org
David Eggebeen at email@example.com
Robert Orndorff at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marc McCann at 237-1719 or email@example.com