I feel like I am going places in my current career, literally I’m going places. I never imagined that I would be a business traveler. I never thought that I would be spending a few weeks away from my family every year. That is what my career path has become. I never thought that I would be that person sitting in an airport, in a suit jacket, laptop in my lap, typing in a fury, all the while talking on the phone about work. On a recent trip, I stopped to smell the roses. I looked around me as I waiting for my Southwest Airlines flight. I am glad I did because I was reminded about what being a dad is all about.
I am sitting down in my seat at Gate 38, probably tweeting some colleagues who will be at the conference that I will soon be at. I am looking around and I see a dad, or I can safely assume that he is a dad because of the 2-year-old boy that he is talking to.
I don’t know this father and son, but being the people watcher that I am (I also wrote something like this a couple Easters ago), I watched their interaction. For one, I am a sucker when I see a dad and son sharing an experience together. I see this dad talking with his son showing him the airport. I see him showing the child the plane and different parts of it. I can tell by just how the dad the talking to the son, this is the boy’s first flight.
I cannot help but smile. I remember the Kid’s first flight and I remember doing the same thing with the Kid. There was an excitement in the Kid’s eye when the pilot waved at him. The rush of take-off as we soar above the clouds.
My son was calm during the entirety of our flights to and from Baltimore. But, I can’t help but think that this is partially because I built up our flying experience much like this dad was doing as I watched him with his son.
But this is what being a dad is about. Calming the fears, building confidence, and encouraging our children to be better human beings. It is easy to forget what our job as dads are. We get so caught up in trying to be a good dad that we forget what being a good dad is really about. I am just as guilty of this as I wrote about in a recent post. I did not calm the fears of the Kid has as he goes to sleep at night.
I wish that I could say that being a dad is easy. It isn’t. Sometimes it is leaving your wife with a sick child for a week to go on business so that you are a better employee for whomever you work for so that you can better provide for your family. Sometimes it is answering the difficult questions that your children have. Sometimes it is waiting up at night while your daughter goes out on her first date with a boy. Sometimes it is giving your child a BIG hug as they go off to college. Being a dad isn’t easy but it is those simple reminders like a dad and son sharing their first flight together that reminds us that this is what being a dad is about.