What Do You Appreciate About Dad?
Vacations and family matters are taking its toll on the Moms Council this week, but at least one of the moms offers her take on appreciating fathers.
Happy Belated Father's Day! What do your kids (and you) appreciate most about dad?
Answer: Tricia Kelly
Our weekly ‘Family Meetings’ start off with appreciations, where we go around the table and thank each family member for something specific from the week. When we initiated these meetings, we noticed an interesting pattern emerging.
One loving child would say, “Dad, thanks for cheering me on at __________ .”(Fill in the blank with the current sport or activity of the season.) Said child would then look at me and say, “Mom, thank you for ________________ “(Fill in the blank with, well, a blank stare.) You could actually see them thinking what did she do all week anyway as they fumbled around trying to come up with something.
Instead of getting bitter about it (OK, I was a little bitter) Devin and I laughed and remembered a long-ago similar event. Exhausted after her fourth birthday party, our daughter fell into bed. She gave us both big hugs, but held on a little tighter to Daddy and said, “Thanks for making my birthday so special.” Never mind that he had returned from a business trip just in time to sign his name on the card and hang up the last streamer. Devin looked up from the hug, smiled knowingly at me, and squeezed tight, “Oh, you’re welcome sweetie.”
For the most part, I’m OK with knowing that parenting is a behind-the-scenes job. I didn’t stop much to thank my mom for driving me to practices, for making sure my uniform was cleaned, for packing me snacks and drinks. And Devin is actually really great at sharing these responsibilities; we work hard to balance out the home and child care duties.
It’s just that he’s also really good at pausing to be in the moment. Me, not so much. Sure, I’m cheering on the sidelines too, but I’ve also been known to sneak out to return library books, do a grocery run, and pick up meds at the pharmacy all before halftime.
Devin balances out my need for checklists, schedules and efficiency with a healthy dose of spontaneity. Now I believe that spontaneity is great – it has its time and its place – and I can occasionally be convinced to alter plans for one of Devin’s last minute great ideas. But, sadly, most often one of his “Hey, why don’t we …..” suggestions is usually met with ten or more reasons why we couldn’t possibly squeeze that in right now.
The kids are always up for it, though. They still greet him with great big hugs and shouts of “Dad’s home!” after work. They know he’s going to show up for them, to support them in whatever they do. They know he’ll do it with unbridled enthusiasm and with a post-game play-by-play analysis. He makes them want to be their best.
What’s not to appreciate about that?