I took Emily to the Girl Scout Father/Daughter dance last night. This is an event we look forward to every year. We had a great time as we always do but the dance always leaves me with a touch of sadness. Not for me but for some of the other girls.
Every year I notice how completely uninterested some fathers act at the dance. I guess I should be happy for those children whose fathers actually show up as I know that there are plenty out there that refuse to come. However, just showing up isn’t enough as far as I am concerned. I saw fathers sitting at tables staring off into nothingness as their daughters tried to engage them in the moment. I saw groups of fathers standing around talking to each other while their daughters danced right next to them. I saw dads do everything they could to not be with their daughters. I just felt it was a little sad because I know how fleeting these moments are. Soon enough our children won’t want to hang out with us. How can someone allow the few chances they have to have a really special time with their children slip away.
I don’t claim to be a great father. There are plenty of things I have failed at that will negatively impact my daughter today, tomorrow, and for years to come. I accept that and try to change things that need to be changed all the time. I just believe that no matter what you can and can not do for your children at least you can be there. If you haven’t really figured it out yet, time is short. For some people it is a lot shorter than they can imagine. Be engaged with your children when you are together. Even when you are doing something you might not really enjoy how can being with your children be such a bad thing? Don’t live a life wishing you had done more with your kids. All they want is for you to be there with them at these moments. It isn’t so hard is it?