Nov 28, 2011

One More Summer

#Challenge: Between work, sleep, keeping up the house, and screaming at small white balls, dads are challenged to carve out nurturing time with our kids.  Some wise man said, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”  I get it, but I don’t want my kids saying that at my funeral.

#HeadGear:  “Boys, let’s go for a drive.”  Carey Casey, NCF’s lead man, starts his excellent book, Championship Fathering, by quoting from his dad who deepened relationships with his children throughout the course of life’s busy-ness.  When I read this, I got goosebumps.  I’ve done this so many times with my own sons – turning trips into teaching times and errands into life lessons.  Tonight, as I like to say, I got the payoff pitch from my youngest son (yup, the one who made me $1 richer last week).  At the dinner table, my wife briefly mentioned a life-lesson I learned long ago through a weird experience.  My son pricked up his ears with an interest in a good story.  I thought for a moment and realized that it wasn’t the best moment to go through the lengthy scenario.  I simply said, “Let me tell you about it later.”  He knew I wasn’t dodging anything, just thinking practically.  My smiling high school junior looked at me and said, “That’s okay Dad, we’ve got one more summer.”  I all but burst out in tears at the realization of what he’d said.  Okay, I actually did start to cry.

I work from home and in the summer I make it a point to take my sons to lunch frequently and always ask them if they’d ride shotgun with me on an errand.  We laugh and yack our way around town, but I also make specific efforts to explain what's causing the crazy man on the radio to lose his mind.  In these precious moments, I lay the foundation for their understanding of politics, economics, spiritual matters, principles of physics, and as much as they’ll let me say about… you know… gurlz.  Sometimes I feel like I’m a banging gong.  Maybe I am, but tonight my son let me know that he values those times and looks forward to them.  What a spectacular moment.  That one dollar just turned into a million.  #IGTBTD

#ManUp:  I’m sympathetic to the demands heaped upon dads.  We’ve got to be the bread-winner, the dragon-slayer, the fair judge, the problem solver, the ditch digger, and the banisher of boogeymen.  You’re loaded to the hilt.  But let me beg you not to take too much time off.  Those runs to the hardware store can turn into a legacy of wisdom passing through the generations – that’s what happened with Carey Casey.  I want to ask you to do a couple things.  Visit the website and order yourself a copy of Championship Fathering.  While you’re there, check out this quick read on “Nonversations”.  The action points there will turn that next trip to the gas station into a father/child legacy.  I promise.

#SoundOff:  By hearing from Carey Casey, I was encouraged in my fathering.  My hunch is you have something to share that will encourage someone else.  Sound off at our Facebook page with how you stay connected with your kids during the busy-ness of life.

Clark H Smith