Being a dad is one of the greatest jobs on the planet. We have the opportunity, at any given moment, to be a superhero – to tear off the mask of our everyday mundane and prepare to save the world from utter destruction and dismay.
OK, maybe I got carried away a little bit. Maybe.
There’s truth to being a superhero if you’re a parent. Our children offer us opportunities to step into their world as heroes every single day. We’re often seen as the person who possesses the solution to every conceivable problem – the fix to everything broken – the smile to everything sad – the kindness to everything mean…
To have these opportunities and to take these opportunities are two very different things. Often, I find myself stuck in the world of doing – working, cleaning, cooking, studying, DOing. I get lost in my world of adult responsibilities and push away the pieces of my life that, all of a sudden, play second fiddle to my to-do list.
There are real demands that require real time and adult decisions. That’s all part of being an adult. At the same time, there are other duties requiring my attention – like playtime with the 4-year-old that’s been asking since the time I woke up. If it were up to him, we’d be playing football and basketball, going on adventures, building forts, playing kitchen and watching cartoons all day; every day.
It’s a delicate balance.
It’s not possible for me to be my child’s playmate every second of every day (actually, I don’t think it’s healthy either). And, if I’m not careful, the adult to-do’s could take over my day, my week, my month, my life.
One thing I’ve learned in my short time on this planet is kids really only want one thing – us; our attention. That’s it. To offer them a block of time when they have our complete focus and undivided attention is more valuable than anything else in their world. More valuable than toys. More valuable than presents. More valuable than iPads (yes, I said it).
Please don’t read this the wrong way. I’m not saying toys and other distractions don’t have their place. They do (or at least that’s what I believe). What I’m saying is to remember small moments; brief departures from the never-ending to-do list pay high yields to the little people that still believe we have super powers.