My friend sat on the couch playing with his grandson. The joy and love they share filled the room. The little boy rambled on and on about his favorite subject; “Transformers”. It was obvious “Lolo” had no clue about almost half the conversation but he dutifully pretended to know and care.
As his grandson whirled around the room in seemingly limitless energy, my friend looked at me wistfully. “ I wish I had spent as much time with my own children. I was so busy building my business and earning a living I never seemed to have time for my own precious children. I left them almost totally in the hands of their mother. Fortunately they turned out fine but we, my children and I, missed something special. Now I cannot go back.”
There was almost pain in his eyes. Always working, he missed their first words, their first steps. He was not there for the excitement and trauma of their first day in school. How many soccer games and recitals had he missed, he lost count. The truly sad thing is in the real world there is no “do over”; no chance to make it up. Fortunately his children are all responsible hard working adults , but it could easily have turned out different. Children need the love, affection, self confidence created by good parenting of both the mother and a father.
So all you hard working fathers out there, remember, you have two jobs. One is to be a provider and the other is to be a parent. This is not only important for child’s development, it is important for the quality of your life. Take time out to be a part of your child’s life. Go to that soccer game and cheer him on. Let your heart swell as your daughter presents her school project. These things may seem unimportant compared with that big business deal you are working on but trust me they are very important to your child and will be more important to you later. You can not buy these memories at Robinson’s and they only come around once.
If you get tired and over worked; if you feel like you are not going to be able to keep up the pace; take a minute to watch your children sleep. There is something special about watching those sweet, innocent and trusting children sleep that makes it all worthwhile.
Be “present” when your child needs a dad. Be your child’s Everyday Hero.