Sunday, September 23, 2012

Being a Dad

This week has been one really cool week for me. It started on Tuesday when I was able to make a presentation at the school PTA meeting about the WatchDogs program. WatchDogs is a way to get fathers and father figures more involved in school by giving them opportunities to volunteer in school and at special events through the year. Dads come in to help with the car rider line, help out in classrooms, around the school and doing things like building playground equipment through the year. Its only our second year at this school, but I'm constantly amazed at the level of parental involvement. We had a couple of dozen fathers volunteer already. Really amazing.

Work was busy and I've adjusted my running schedule so that I barely see the girls before school three days a week. But the weekend is filled to the brim with them. I think any parent would be lying if they said they never had a moment when they hoped they could get away from their kids for a while. I'm reminded constantly of how important it is to give them a positive role model. Last night we went to a birthday party at a friend's home. They have a 15 year old girl who had a boy over and of course all of the dad's at the party were watching this kid. He's a good kid, respectful and friendly. My thoughts kept turning to my own little girls. How can I be sure that they won't be attracted to the "bad boy" when they are that age.  Well, I know I can't, but what I can do is make sure they see in me the way a man is supposed to behave, the way he's supposed to treat a woman and hope they hold any boy to the same standard.

I'm keeping similar thoughts in mind while I'm running too. I want my girls to see that fitness needs to be a regular part of your life and hope that they'll again see me leading by example. One of my daughters is constantly asking to go running with me, and I've been hesitant to bring her along. There's enough of a challenge for me without having to motivate her as well. Yesterday during my long run I saw a woman and her son out on the trail. He rides his bike along as his mom (I assume its his mom) runs. I've seen them out a couple of times and realized that I could do that with my daughter. If she's riding her bike I don't have to worry about pacing with her and she'd be able to go a lot farther than if she were on foot. So next weekend I think I'll give it a try with her, or maybe even with both of them.

OK, sappy time. During the Olympics I think we all saw the say Aly Raisman's parents were so invested in her every flip on her routines. However, the parents who really stuck with me were Missy Franklin's. They were stuck up in the rafters during some of the most important races of their young daughter's life. They hadn't seen her for days and NBC showed her finding them outside the arena afterwards. The look in her eyes and the way they cried during the moment really touched me. How many 17 year olds would be that excited to see their parents?

My little girls turn 7 next month. There are so many more influences in their life now, from school and media and other kids' parents. I think its more important now than ever to be the best role model that I can be. That doesn't mean I have to be perfect, because nobody is perfect and kids shouldn't think that they have to be, but to be positive and do things right. I read a quote on Twitter a while back from Bruce Van Horn who said "There is a sermon your children will pay close attention to; it's the one you live in front of them daily." I'll try to Preach On!

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