By Jessie Peele, author of Cupcakes and Running Shoes
The other afternoon my husband and daughter were on the back porch playing while I got dinner ready in the kitchen. I heard Cameron giggling uncontrollably, and I smiled and chopped some vegetables and thought, “Ahhhh, perfection.” And as her giggling continued to travel even deeper into her belly, I decided to find out what was so funny.
I leaned over and peaked out the window and saw my husband teaching Cameron how to go down the slide headfirst into a homemade ball pit.
I took a deep breath, counted to ten, then asked him to come inside for a minute. I must have had “the look” on my face.
“What?!” he said, with the hint of a smile.
“Babe…” I said, while trying to project an are-you-SERIOUS look.
And in that moment I realized us Mamas and Dadas – well, we’re just different.
And thank goodness. Because if it weren’t for Dadas, life would be all matching clothes and safe choices and balanced meals and following rules and staying clean. At least in this house.
Now, I stand by my let’s-not-slide-down-the-slide-headfirst rule. Because I work in an elementary school, and I know that if Cameron learns to do that at home, the first thing she’ll do when she shows up at her school on Monday is slide down headfirst and be so confused when the teacher tells her no.
And also, I know Dadas play a huge part in child-raising and child-rearing and rule-making.
In our house, it’s Dada who reminds us to have more fun. To say “Who cares?!” if the laundry needs to be folded or dishes need to be cleaned, pushing us out the door to spend the afternoon at a local playground instead. It’s Dada who will drop whatever he’s doing to say yes as Cameron yells, “Outside! Outside! Outside!” It’s Dada who is willing to throw our daughter eight feet above his head over, and over, and over again as she giggles ferociously. (Ok, probably not eight feet, but it sure does look that way to me as I hold my breath on the sidelines.)
Sure, I help us stay on schedule and make sure everyone has their basic necessities and keep us organized and clean and on-time. And I love my family so much it hurts.
But I’m so thankful for Dada, who reminds us that it’s okay to push the boundaries and veer off course a little bit and let a to-do list go unchecked and slide into life headfirst, all in the name of getting the most out of every moment we’ve been given.
Cheers to the Dadas and Happy Father’s Day!