The downstairs was full of laughter and little feet running around.
I could hear Andrew say “Hurry, hurry!”
Things got silent downstairs.
“Go get ’em Daddy!” Emma yells as she enjoys playing ABC Mouse on my tablet. I turn off the lights and slowly walk downstairs. For kicks, I turn on the theme song to Stranger Things as my Bluetooth speaker was still downstairs. As I continued to walk down the stairs I said “It’s hard to see in the Upside Down, but the Demogorgon will always find you!”
Slowly I make my way through the living room. I can’t see much, though lights from outside do give some vision in the otherwise dark room. I had my shoes on, so I made sure to walk firmly on the hardwood floor, allowing the stomp of my feet echo downstairs, increasing the kids’ heart beats.
The living room is clear, so I move into the dining room. As I walk between the rooms, I turn around and look behind me, Andrew freaks out and falls to the floor.
The dining room is small, with a larger table in the middle, a small desk in the corner, a curio cabinet along one wall, and just some stuff along the other. Not many places left to hide. I can’t see under the desk, so I lean over and just reach under, swatting my hand around. Nothing. Slowly, I make my way around the kitchen table and reach under; I hear movement. I get down on the floor and reach and Matthew starts laughing.
I work my way into the kitchen. Now, the kitchen doesn’t offer many places to hide, however with the lights out, curled up against a cabinet would do the trick. I make my way around the kitchen. Nothing. So, I work my way back into the dining room; I’ve missed something somewhere. As I’m searching again I accidentally kick Joshua’s carboard box.
When I ordered a new computer chair a month ago or so, Joshua asked to keep the box. He plays in it and has the inside designed like a spaceship. Thing is, this box didn’t really move when I kicked it. It was as if something was weighing it down. I reach in the box with the intent to tickle whatever I touch. In possibly the best laugh among all of my kids, there is Joshua with his big belly laugh.
I go into the living room and turn the lights back on, drop to my knees with my arms stretched to the sides and claim victory!
Give Your Time
There are benefits of spending time with your child. Never have my kids said “Hey, remember that day last week when Teen Titans, Go was on and Starfire dressed up like The Jeff?” No, it’s always “Remember when we were playing catch and I made that awesome Odell?” Or “Remember when we went into the Nether and was attacked that group of Zombie Pigmen?” Memories are linked to times kids can say “I love spending time with my Dad.”
In today’s world, it is too easy to not be parents. Right? I mean come on, with the combination of the TV, tablet and laptop, our kids can be entertained the entire time they are awake and we don’t even have to be involved. How insane is that to say, because it was crazy to type. I’ll admit, I was one of these parents and at times I still am. Where I want to just have a moment to collect some sort of thoughts, or do something for myself and have them game or something.
Sure, playing computer games has its benefits. My oldest Matthew is just understanding the concept of playing ROBLOX with a friend from school when they are in different houses. He’s blown away by this. But, when my kids get excited, I mean REALLY excited, it’s because we’re doing something together.
Any of the kids will drop what they are doing if it means getting time to do something with me. They will even clean up their mess! That’s a pretty big double-bonus for me as a parent, because laundry in a house of 4 kids is like shoveling snow in a blizzard. You just finished the driveway, to turn around and find it covered again. I know you know what I mean there.
Gadgets and toys are fun for kids to have, but time is really the best gift and it can come in any form. I play Minecraft with the kids. I play catch with Andrew. Wrestle around with Joshua (well, all of them for that matter) and I color with Emma often. This is just the tip of the iceberg on how time can really change how you affect your kids as a Dad.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect (ask my ex-Wife, she’ll be glad to back me up on that statement with a gleam in her eye). There are times where I have them game on the PlayStation without me, or tell them I am not going to wrestle around right now and they can just turn some TV on. Being a single Dad of 4 is tiring and there are times where I need recharge time that isn’t sleeping at night.
Us Dads can do better though. We can use these games, devices and desires our kids have as tools to be involved WITH them, not to keep the kids occupied.
Why? Because we’re Dads and any Mom will tell you that Dads are the “fun one”.
So, don’t just be a Father. Be a Dad. Be fun. Give you time, and be present.
Dad’s Awesome Life