A guest post by Ken
I am thankful for cartoons, hot wheels, Crayola markers, Lego sets and action figures. Not only are they the stuff of my childhood, but Lord-willing they will soon be the tools of the trade when I become a Dad (which cannot come soon enough for me!).
Perhaps this can explain what I mean.
Robin had asked me to work on a small project that would become a play mat for our kids. Robin had discovered “busy bags”. She had asked me to draw a simple landscape for hot wheel cars. So I grabbed a handful of markers, put on a movie and enjoyed a snack.
So while I was on my day off playing with toy cars, watching a movie, “Captain America” and snacking on Halloween candy it dawned on me: one of the great perks of being a parent is that you get to re-live parts of your childhood. I realized that I wasn’t playing, I was practicing to be a Dad! This was field research.
Maybe being a good parent was nothing more than being able to relate to a child at their level in their world. It may be that they don’t need lectures, but for me to just be there for them. Even if I don’t know what to say, I can try to enter their world and listen. For months I have been wondering and worrying about what kind of a father I would be. I could have saved myself a number of sleepless nights if I had only known that part of being a good dad is the ability to be a kid again. I can do that!
Perhaps those pearls of wisdom that my Dad was able to dispel when I was a child were simply his ability to remember what it was like to be a little boy as well. I may not remember much from the lectures, spankings and other attempts at instilling discipline, but I distinctly remember playing catch in the backyard, camping trips and countless game nights in our household.
So I might not have all the answers or always know what the right things to say, but one thing I am certain of is that I can be there for my kids and I can enjoy playing in their world. And perhaps that’s what love is for a five year old.
I just pray my children love building with LEGO!