It was no ordinary father-son fishing trip. At ten-years old, I was the guide! When I told my dad about the “secret” spot I’d discovered bike riding in the foothills north of our home, he jumped at the chance to join me on a little adventure.
I’m sure he would have enjoyed sleeping in that Saturday morning after working construction all week, but there we were, casting bobbers into a little stream a few miles from home. To his surprise — and mine — there weren’t just minnows inhabiting those waters. I pulled in a “20-inch” rainbow trout! My new spot just happened to be strategically located a stone’s throw from a trout farm and a few had escaped! Lucky for us.
I may not have been the perfect fishing guide that day. After all, my client caught nothing. But I was one happy kid. Victorious! On top of the world! Brimming with pride with my dad by my side cheering me on and celebrating my ingenuity and success. What a gift my father gave me that day by taking the time to enter my world.
As a father of four boys, one silver lining of the pandemic has been more time to enter my kids’ worlds. I’m especially thankful for the deeper bonds that have developed as I’ve taken more steps to show an interest in them and their latest passions.
Just a few of the highlights:
- Admiring my 18-year old’s hand tied fishing flies. Clearly, the apple doesn’t fall far.
- Laughing along to “Weird Al” Yankovic songs with my 16-year old.
- “Letting” my 10-year-old beat me in backyard badminton matches.
- Jumping on the trampoline with my 7-year old. Not sure what came over me, but never again shall I attempt a front flip as a middle-aged man.
It’s been quite the year — challenging, for sure, but good in many ways. How many moments like these would I have missed if the global health crisis hadn’t thinned out my schedule and forced me to stay home a lot more?
As this Father’s Day approaches, I’m especially thankful for these and many other moments with my kids. And I’m grateful for the gift of time my dad gave me as a child: intentionally stepping into my world, encouraging my wanderlust and celebrating the many treasures I discovered… or caught! I plan on reminding my dad of that little fishing trip and thanking him for letting me be his guide that day.
Is there a fond memory you could remind your dad of this Father’s Day? And thank him for? I’m pretty sure he’ll love to reminisce with you and it will probably put a big smile on his face.
How about returning the blessing and taking some time to enter your father’s world? If he loves golfing, you could join him for an afternoon. Maybe he’d love to pass on his BBQ skills to you as his apprentice. You know best what would bring him joy. I plan on asking my dad how his latest woodworking project is going.
Let’s honour our dads this Father’s Day by taking some time to enter their world.
“Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt 10:8b).