“Until you have a son of your own… you will never know the joy, the love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart of a father as he looks upon his son.” – Kent Nerburn
The other day my eight-year-old son started writing in a journal. He was genuinely excited about writing in this journal. The words must have been flowing because he filled up the page in a matter of minutes. I was so proud of him for being able to express himself in such a way at a very young age. When he was done, he was excited to show me what he had written in his journal.
He began talking about his day at school and how boring it was today…and every other day. He wrote about eating pizza and jumping on the trampoline with his friends. He wrapped it up, so I thought, with “then I had to go to sleep.” We were laying in his bed, and he started a game about guessing which superhero or supervillain was better. This went on for several minutes before he jumped up to add one more sentence to his journal.
He had a little grin on his face as he wrote the sentence, then handed me the journal to review his latest addition. After the “then I had to go to sleep” original closing he added the following sentence, “but before that me and my amazing dad played a game together.” He touched my heart with that statement in a way he will never understand. I am so proud to be this little man’s father. In a way, I needed to see and hear those words to validate that I was doing my job as a father.
I grew up without a father. I vowed years ago if I had children they would have the most “amazing” father. The irony was I used the word “amazing” to describe how I hoped to be perceived. So, reading the words “amazing dad” from my eight-year-old son made everything else seem petty or insignificant. There is nothing more important to me than knowing that my little man feels loved and protected. That was all the validation I needed to know how he felt about me.
Yesterday, one of his friends said I was the best dad in the whole neighborhood because I always played games with them. My son gleamed with pride when she made that statement. I enjoy playing games with them. I thought that is what dads are supposed to do with their kids. Whether it is an epic sword fight or Nerf gun war I always enjoyed playing a role and kicking some butts. Apparently, the kids took notice and appreciated the fact I was doing what no other father was doing on these fierce battlefields.
I take great pride knowing these kids appreciate what I do for them. I also take great pride in knowing that they will likely do the same for their kids and their neighborhood kids. All kids want is for YOU to spend time with them. Get out there and have an epic sword fight or Nerf gun war with all YOUR kids. Live in the moment; live each day like a kid without a care. They will always remember that you were, and still are, an “amazing” mom or dad.