One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve known is being “Dad” to my five kids. Father’s Day is a chance to pause for a moment and reflect on how the most important things are right in front of me—my sons and daughters. Over 24 years of fatherhood, my kids have brought these amazing gifts into my life:
Joy. My kids teach me every day what real joy looks like. They dance when they feel like dancing, sing when they feel like singing, and laugh when they feel like laughing. They jump into life without holding back.
Play. As the saying goes, “Work hard, play harder.” Kids allow me to play hard! We toss water balloons, jump on the trampoline, hike in the woods, rock out at concerts, watch cartoons, and scoop ice cream every chance we get.
Dreaming. Kids dream big. They believe anything is possible. As adults we’re so afraid of failure that we forget to dream and believe. Our kids remind us.
Creativity. Children create costumes out of cardboard and duct tape. They talk to imaginary friends. They color outside the lines. They whip up concoctions in the kitchen. I’m challenged to go to places conventional wisdom doesn’t go.
Stardom. For an awesome season in their childhood, my kids think I’m invincible. I hold the answers to every question and the solution to every problem. I conquer the monsters under the bed and explain the wonders of the universe. They eventually figure out I’m only human, but for a while it’s nice to be their hero.
Learning. Kids spend every waking second taking in the world around them. They ask “why” 100 times a day. Their natural curiosity motivates me to keep learning, too.
Memories. I’ve spent countless hours at the office building a career. Day after day of managing all my “stuff.” But when I look back over the last 24 years, it’s the priceless moments with my family that have made life meaningful.
Words. My kids have taught me how powerful words can be. What we say matters—we can fill each other up or tear each other to pieces. My kids’ “I love you, Dad” sinks deep into who I am.
Humility. Parenthood is humbling. My kids see how easy I get tired, lose my patience, and fail to have answers for their big questions. Not only that, but Jesus said I’m supposed to be like them—trusting in God with childlike faith. If I ever think too much of myself or fall into selfishness or doubt, my children remind me who I am.
Time. I have one son graduated and married, a daughter out of the nest, and the next one making college plans. I’ll blink and the last two will be packing their bags. Fatherhood inspires me to value the minutes we have. Today is the day to have the important conversations, spend quality time together, and pray with all I’ve got.
Love. My children have taught me so much about how to give and receive love. They’re generous. Forgiving. Kind. Affectionate. Optimistic. Loyal. They show me how it’s done.
I’m positive your kids have changed both you and your life, too. Share their gifts to you by adding to this list in the comments!