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Challenge: What Do Fathers Do Best?

No one ever told me...

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I love being a daddy. The job requires everything I am, can do, remember and make up as I go along. Ok, so I'm 58 now and the little guys are almost seven. The past seven years have been unlike anything I've done (or felt) previous. I never knew I had it in me. I still don't know. I hope everything I do, say, create and make up works in the long run. In the short run, things work sometimes and the boys seem to like me and listen to me occasionally. (The wife too!)

As for what I do best, I'm not sure that there is any one thing. I take care of the boys as best I can. I play ball with them or tag even. Just a couple of weeks ago, I took the boys to a playground in the afternoon as they were out of school for the summer and their summer camp had not started yet.

Anyway, we get to the playground and there weren't any other kids there. Thankfully, some kids arrived five minutes after we did so the boys could have someone to play with. Somehow, and it is still a mystery, I got involved in a game of tag with the boys. When the other kids arrived and saw us playing tag, they asked if they could join us. Sure, I said, as naively as if signing my own death warrant.

Within minutes, I was 'it'. Well, it's been a long time since I actually played tag with a group of youngsters, who incidentally could run as fast as Usain Bolt, but I did my best. Within minutes of chasing, I realized I was out of my league. Fortunately, God heard my prayers and screams of anguish, and he sent a kid, who was mocking my age and lack of speed, within tagging distance and I siezed the opportunity. I quickly retired and sat down to catch my breath. A couple of weeks later, my hamstrings have never quite recovered.

It is in those instances that I believe I provide a, for lack of a better word, presence. Daddy playing with them. Being there, wherever they are, is perhaps the primary key and responsibility for daddies.

I'm glad I'm with them as much as I am, though I work 50+ hours a week. I wish I was home more and that feeling is exacerbated when one of them says at a movie mommy took them to - I wish daddy was here.

Ok, now that I'm thinking about it, the other key thing is communication, but I will save that for a later submission, as I have to go to work now.

Jeff Jackson

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