One of the most rewarding times as a father is when I get to spend one-on-one time with my children. Since I have three children, it is not always easy to give each child the individual attention he or she deserves. A walk with my 2-year old son, X, taught me just how precious these moments really are.
When I opened the front door, X darted outside to the sidewalk. I directed him through the gate to our neighborhood walking path and we commenced our stroll. X started off tentatively because we usually place him in the stroller when we take a walk. I guess he was trying to make sure that his freedom was real before going all out.
It didn’t take him long to start taking confident strides and exploring his surroundings. I, on the other hand, paid no attention to my surroundings because I was too engrossed by the tweets that were streaming across my phone’s screen.
“Leaf!” X yelled and snapped me out of my social media trance. I suddenly realized that I was allowing a special moment slip away because I wasn’t fully present. I slid my phone in my pocket and focused on my son.
“Yes, it is a leaf,” I said. “They fall from the trees.” I pointed at the row of trees that lined the path. X looked and me and then back at the leaf.
“Leaf,” he said before stomping it. He ran ahead a few feet and stomped on another leaf. He did this a few more times until he looked up in the sky and saw a crescent shaped moon.
“MOON!” he yelled.
“Yes, there’s the moon,” I said. I squatted next to X and pointed to the sky. “Look at the stars around the moon.”
He pointed and smiled then started walking again. We continued along the path until we encountered a rabbit.
“Cat,” said X. I chuckled as the rabbit ran into the bushes.
“That wasn’t a cat,” I explained. “That was a rabbit.”
“Rabbit?” he asked.
“Yes, rabbits go bouncy, bouncy and cats go meow,” I said. He still looked confused so we moved on.
When we reached the park, I grabbed his hand and lead him to the playground. He played on the jungle gym a few times and then pointed to the swings.
“You want Daddy to push you on the swing?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
As I pushed him higher and higher X’s peals of laughter permeated the cool night air and filled my heart with waves of joy.
Questions: How do you give each of your children special attention? What did your parents do for you?