Tale of Two Dads

Okay, this might seem judgmental. But allow me a bit of commentary on what I observed. 

It was a balmy July weekend afternoon on the ferry. Who could complain with sunny skies and blue waters? 

Almost immediately I noticed a curly-headed boy of about 11 and his dad. As they walked by, the dad gently placed his hand on his son’s back, pointing to what appeared to be a dorsal fin popping up in the Puget Sound waters. They quickly went to the outside deck to get a closer look.

That’s when I saw another dad and son, roughly the same age as the other duo. But they were seated opposite one another on bench seats. 

The dad, with his back to me, was talking on his cell phone. His son sat solemnly—never interrupting or moving from his seat to check out the passing scenery. The dad’s conversation was audible to all close by. He talked about his personal trainer and his intense work-outs, an upcoming business trip to New Orleans, those going on the trip, and the nightlife options available. On and on while his son sat there sullenly.

Meanwhile the other father-son pair continued their exploration of the ferry—walking past me again, sharing a small bag of popcorn. Thirty minutes later, the announcement came for passengers to head to their cars. I watched both father-son pairs. One still talking on the phone with his son trailing behind. The other two talking animatedly about baseball.

You probably know where this is going. We have limited time with our kids. Just over 900 weekends from birth to adulthood. While phone calls and adult duties can distract us, our main mission (if we’re parents) is to spend time with our kids. It’s critical that we do.

Young kids need to know that mom and dad love them, and they learn a lot by watching their parents. Sadly, we have too many broken adults raising broken kids.

Some of the tragic bloodshed we’ve seen happening in America has its roots in broken childhoods. Our nation is suffering in ways it hasn’t before. 

But we’ve never had as many broken families either. 

Supporting our families is essential. Encourage a mom or dad. Thank the coaches, teachers, and volunteers that work with children. 

Broken kids need to be pieced back together—because eventually kids become the communities of tomorrow. 

Photo Credit: Ferry photos by Peninsula Trips

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