Full Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Candlewick Press
My life is busy. Between working full-time, running an online empire (I like to think that but really it’s not), producing a podcast, being a parent, husband, son, and everything else that is involved with staying up and running in this race we call life, yeah I’m a bit busy.
This all means that when it does come time to sit down for the evening the only thing that I want to do, is to turn on my phone and get lost in an endless scroll of Facebook or Instagram and occasionally getting caught up on Twitter. Sometimes the only way to accomplish this is to turn on a screen and let my kids play so that I can some form of peace and quiet.
I realized though that my kids (namely my oldest) spends most of his day with his head down learning on his iPads. Between the learning apps that the school pre-loads on it and the textbooks that are now delivered on it, for the better part of the day he is on a screen.
Despite my best efforts, even when I tell my kids to play with their toys or I’m going throw them all out, I sometimes inevitably say yes to them playing on the tablet. All I want is some downtime, some peace, and quiet.
“Just pick up a book and read instead!”
I said one afternoon. Realizing the irony when I tell them they have had enough screen time and yet there I am laying on the couch scrolling through Instagram.
“Hey, dad come here! We can’t seem to find the differences in the pictures.” My son said.
I groaned, that peace and quiet was short-lived with my kids needing me yet again. But as I stood up and looked at the couch, I was immediately transported back to my youth. I saw them holding Where’s Waldo and the memories of looking for Waldo flooding my head. The frown quickly became a smile and I walked to the couch.
The buzz of my smartwatch didn’t matter, and quickly 5 minutes sitting there seeking out Waldo, turned into 15, then 30 and then an hour.
That evening my 3-year-old pulled me into his room,
“Daddy, I need you.”
“Really? What do you need me for?”
“Read this book to me,” he said handing my Just Because and climbing into his bed. He just wanted to read with dad before bed. How could I say no?
He was soon in the world of a daughter asking questions to her dad. Questions that all kids ask, but she was asking them in a way most kids ask, right before bedtime.
As i closed the book, his eyes closed and soon he would be repeating that black holes are the mouths of dinosaurs at school the next day (seriously don’t ask me, just read the book).
“Hey, Dad.” I heard coming from the doorway of my 3-year-old, “Can you read me a bedtime story?”
“You mean, you want to read with dad tonight?”
I responded. Reading at bed has usually been delegated to my wife. The kids love the way she is able to tell a story and calm them down right before bed. Apparently, dad is too loud and rambunctious in his storytelling while he stumbles through half of the book.
But this night was different. My wife was gone and it was just me there to put the kids to bed.
“Sure buddy, let’s go read… how about that new book Malemander! We need to find out who or what this thing is.” I said as we both walked into his room.
Before we could even get a few pages in, he was sound asleep with dreams of Eerie-on-Sea and who this Malemander person was.
With our busy world, it can easy forget the things that bring a real smile to our face. The things that will matter as our kids grow up and the moments they are going to want to remember and share with their kids.
Sometimes, those moments are as small as the times they would read with dad.