Great Moments in Parenting Come in Unlikely Places
I knew I was having a fun day with our kids, but it wasn’t until a total stranger helped me realize I was having something more. Thanks to him, it turned out to be one of my great moments in parenting.
Not long ago, I took our young kids alone to an MLB game about four hours from home. My wife wasn’t interested in attending but encouraged me to go anyway. So we went.
The sun was shining and it was warm while we sat comfortably in the cool shade. The kids were thrilled to be there even though they weren’t necessarily focusing on pitches and strategy like I was, but they fed off my love of the game. The day was happy, peaceful, and joyous. It reminded me of similar, contented childhood days with my dad at the ballpark.
Unbeknownst to me, an usher had been watching us for a few innings. He approached me and said something I wasn’t expecting.
“I’ve been ushering for a long time, and I’ve never seen a dad so happy to be with his kids,” the man said. “They’re jumping on you, begging for snacks, acting restless, just being kids. Most parents would be shouting at their kids to stop. But you’ve been a wonderful father to them the whole time. Your wife is lucky to have you.”
Talk about a feel-good moment.
That day was already one of my most enjoyable ever. But his unexpected comments made it even better. I never realized I was doing anything special, and certainly didn’t need any props for doing what I was supposed to be doing. I was just being a parent.
But you never know when the kind words of another can spawn the most uplifting of emotions.
So often our great moments in parenting come via more public spectacles like school gatherings, youth sports, concert performances, or some type of award ceremony. All of those instances certainly are special.
However, that day reminded me how we would all do good to lift up our fellow parents around us by a kind word. Dads especially could do a lot for the institution of fatherhood by supporting, encouraging, and sustaining one another through a thoughtful remark to another fellow dad.
I knew something was special about that day. But thanks to that kind usher, I now recognize it as one of my great moments and biggest accomplishments as a dad.
Do yourself a huge favor and pass it on. You could even start with your own spouse.