Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Episode Twenty Three: Be Their Biggest Fan

I feel like I'm back in the swing of things now - I had a couple of weeks off from the site. I jumped head-first into this project and although it's been a great journey so far, sometimes it feels like my parenting is for the purpose and benefit of the blog. What I really want is for the blog to benefit from the parenting I already do. Does that make sense? So for those two weeks I parented for my children and not the audience I have through this site. Thank you for sticking with me and supporting Ideas For Dads. It's been a very cool journey for my children and myself so far.

The other night my middle boy had a fundraiser for his kindergarten - a bike-a-thon! The idea was that the kids biked around a track at one of the local schools and got sponsorship for their efforts. We filled up the form with sponsors and pledges and the excitement grew throughout the week. It's hard work being the middle child, I imagine. This felt like it was an event that was finally all his. Not a big brother's Cubs camp, not a little sister's first birthday but his very own event where the sole focus was on him.

After work on a cloudy, breezy day we rolled up to the school field with the rest of the bikers, families and support crew and got ourselves sorted. Before coming home from work I made up a few signs of encouragement to surprise him. The grandparents came along and joined us in cheering him on. There was no stopping him! He took off around the track before the event started and clocked his first lap. From there on in he was like a bat out of hell peddling around the track. 

The whole way around the track he had his head down, focused on the task. His concentration was absolute. I tried to get him to have a rest but he wouldn't have a bar of it. He was determined to get in those laps and earn the money for his kindergarten. It was an incredible thing to watch. However, as he passed his station of supporters he beamed from ear-to-ear. We would yell and clap our hands while he would smile and almost laugh but keep on peddling. He ended up doing seven laps!

Being a Dad, being a caregiver of any kind takes a lot of cheer-leading. Sometimes it's building your child up before they go out the door to face another day of school they don't enjoy. Sometimes it's convincing them they can do that really scary thing they have told themselves they couldn't possibly do. Other times it's very literal like what we did with my middle boy - or going to a school assembly and yelling and cheering while they receive a certificate. Who doesn't want to hear the roar of the crowd as they accomplish something? It's an amazing experience. That is a gift that really goes both ways: To see your children achieve something remarkable is a powerful experience. Just like them having you there watching it - witnessing their skill, their strengths is priceless.

Over the last two weeks I took off I really looked at the aim of this project. I know what I'm offering to you, the reader. I know what I'm hoping to add to other Dad's lives - that's pretty much spelt out very clearly now. The question I faced was what did I want my own children to get out of this website? If you get right down to it, all I want to give my children are great memories: I want to do things with them that they might not recall exactly as they get older but they can know with certainty that I was there, I was 100% in the moment with them and I showed them that they can do anything.

Being their biggest fan is one of the best ways you can do all of those things.

Have fun!

(Also, I would like to thank my wife for taking such awesome photos which have made the the last twenty three ideas look incredible. Thank you!)

1 comment:

  1. This is great Abe, you're an inspiration for other dads (and mums too I bet). Your kids are going to do great things thanks to the way you've brought them up. SB