Canoeing the Eleven Point River in Missouri
I’ve got an assignment for you this month. Think about the positive things you gained from having your dad involved in your life, identify those qualities that you know he helped to foster in you, both as a child and as an adult. Then tell him thank you. It might sound easy, but so often, we tend to overlook the gifts we’ve been given until that person is gone or we’re further down the road in life. And we miss a great opportunity to share our love and appreciation with them.
As you’ll read in this month’s article, dads often take it on the chin, at least in the world of TV sitcoms. But truth be told, the qualities men bring to the lives of their children help strengthen kids in ways that are very different from women. And that is a good thing. Together, we provide an interesting mélange that can help our children grow strong and resilient.
I know for myself, I so often focused on the ways my father had failed me that I tended to overlook the pluses his presence brought to my life. He was detached and less than involved when my brothers and I were growing up (not unlike many men of his generation). But he did have an intellectual curiosity, as well as a love of travel and music, that he shared and I acquired those traits as well.
I look around at today’s generation of fathers and marvel at how much more hands-on many are with their children. One dad I know revels in being able to share the world with his daughter, thinking about her abilities and introducing her to experiences that will help broaden her world. Several friends have talked about how their husbands are the fun of the family, often making time to simply play with their kids. To have a father like that in one’s life is a gift.
So celebrate your dad this month. Let him know he is loved and appreciated. You’ll both benefit.
As for the rest of the issue, we’ve got an insightful piece on dealing with some of the anxiety and stress that can accompany the birth of a baby. It’s not always something we feel free to convey to those we love, but we should. And finally, we’ll introduce you to a host of places you can share with your family this summer. Adventure awaits, so get out there! The picture above is where you’ll find me. Happy trails!
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