1) Answering questions. My daughters are 8 and 4, so they have a million of them. I never forget the fact that so much about life is new to them, and I love that they seek knowledge from me. I might not have all the answers, but that’s why it’s such a valuable exercise: As it turns out, I learn a lot from them.
2) Watching them succeed…and fail. I learned at an early age that success is not only piece of mind that you’ve done your best, it’s also knowing you’ve bounced back from previously failed attempts. It’s awfully tempting to tell my little girls that they’re perfect little princesses (which they are, I just don’t tell them that). To the contrary, I know their confidence will grow with every obstacle they overcome. And no matter what, it always ends with a hug and encouraging words.
3) Children’s laughter. Sometimes, when I need to take a break during the day, I tell my daughters that Daddy’s favorite sound is silence. But the truth is that nothing can replace the giggling and belly laughs that come from them after a funny moment. The sillier the better. It’s the greatest noise in the world.
4) Sharing my profession with them. I love working in sports, but it doesn’t mean nearly as much if my family isn’t into it, as well. My girls are all-in. Whether it’s listening to me on the radio on their way to school, or attending a Cardinals game –or even sitting in the seats when I’m calling a basketball game – there’s nothing like the wide-eyed looks on their faces when they enter my world.
5) Birthdays and holidays. These are magical times for kids, especially the anticipation in the weeks prior. Not only do my girls get excited about everything that comes with a birthday party (presents, cake, etc.), they are just as thoughtful when it comes to preparing someone else’s big day. Valentine’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving…these are important dates on the calendar. But nothing compares to Christmas, a time that still brings out the kid in me. And that’s definitely because of my own kids. Speaking of holidays, Happy Father’s Day to your family.