My 5 year-old son has been begging me for some “boy time.” Just time with him and daddy. And I so want to. I really do. But I’ve been busy. Real busy. Since my wife’s car accident, I’ve been trying hard to do double duty. I hardly have enough time to go to the gym. And I struggle with it. I so want to spend time with my son. And I know he desperately wants to spend time with me. Even coming into my office, grabbing my arm and pleading with me to do something with him. To help him ride his bike, to play lightsabers with him, to race Hot Wheels, something.
Then, the other day, he wanted to play. I was busy. He started playing with a neighbor boy. And then he and the neighbor boy went to play. As I watched my son walk down the street, he kept looking back at me with a smile that said he was afraid of going away from me but excited to play with a new friend. As he walked away, the song The Cats in the Cradle started playing in my mind (not the one from the 60’s but Ugly Kid Joe’s version)
Yesterday again, he wanted boy time. So, he and I cleaned up the kitchen. He helped unload the dishwasher and helped wipe off the kitchen table. We then split an apple fritter. I sat there, with my coffee and my half of the fritter and we talked, at least, the best type of conversation a dad can have with his 5 year-old.
During our conversation, he told me how it was interesting that a his skin moved by his eyes when he chewed. I told him it was his muscles in his face moving. “Muscles?” his eyes lit up. So we went on Google and looked up facial muscles. He wanted to know more. So I pulled out Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier and showed my son the other muscles in the body. He was enthralled. I showed him the different muscles in the body, how the moved, how they worked. It was the most amazing thing to him. A whole new way of looking at things.
Part of my health journey, and part of his as well, is that we are healthy emotionally. That healthy emotional father/son bond that’s so needed for him (and I know for me). That father/son bond that helps my son know what it means to be accepted, valued and most of all to be a man of God. And I so want to teach my son how to be a good solid man of God, a devout follower of Jesus Christ. And I know I’m going to fail, I know it’s going to be hard. But I’m trying to teach him and show him what’s important in life. I’m trying to help develop his own interests whether he’s growin up geek or falls in love with rebuilding cars (maybe he can work on my pick-up).
Whatever he chooses, I’ll support him. I just hope he remembers and cherishes what “boy time” we do have together like I do.