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What Dads Know About Play Time and the Hard Work of Parenting

What Dads Know About Play Time and the Hard Work of Parenting

I’m 41. Visiting at my parents, my Dad peeks inside and says “Shell, you should take a look at the moon tonight. It’s amazing.” He was outside barbecuing dinner and the rest of the family was lost in conversation, playtime, or chores inside.

Distractedly, I say, “Yeah. I will. Just a sec.”

I think it’s my third time running up and down the stairs for one thing or another, when my Dad hears me coming back down and says, “Shell, come outside RIGHT NOW. It’s really beautiful.”

And it hit me at that moment that my Dad is the reason I normally take time to notice things like the full moon rising, the Santa Ana winds blowing, the majesty of the Swiss Alps, or the perfection of waves crashing at the beach. I really do. I stop all the time to take these things in.

I had another epiphany when I was filling out his Father’s Day card this year with a list of Top 10 Memorable Dad Moments. Yes – I’m lame writing it like a blog post in a greeting card, but after 5 years that’s how I think! I’d say 8 out of the 10 special dad memories had to do with something physical, active and outdoors — swimming, boating, etc.  The rest was silliness and laughter.

My dad played with me and my sister. He is still silly and makes me laugh all the time.

He also taught me the value of hard work and having goals. He still teaches me about the personal sacrifice and personal growth it takes to be a  parent – long after the kids are grown.

A sacrifice that’s well worth it if it means the pay-off is your 41 year old daughter standing there with you one night in the future — simply so you can stop to admire the full moon together.

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