Today I want to start a new series of posts called, “How to Dad.” I stole this phrase from my older brother. He is in the midst of raising 4 girls. My wife and I are in the midst of raising 3 girls. Anyone in the midst of raising kids, boys or girls, knows that raising kids is ALL CONSUMING! Even though it’s incredibly rewarding and filled with joy, it’s also tough, tiresome, and overwhelming.
And with raising kids comes moments where you realize that the reason you’re doing the thing that you’re doing is because you’re a dad. So with these posts I want to share some of those moments and see what other “dad moments” other people have had.
So for today, let’s talk about Lucky Charms.
We have a leprechaun who lives in our backyard named Scott. Actually, it’s a friend from church who happened to find a four-leaf clover one day with our girls in our backyard. He told them about how four-leaf clovers are incredibly rare and give you good luck. And he also told them about how leprechauns might be living in our backyard and may leave presents on our back deck. Ever since then, at random, our backyard leprechaun leaves boxes of Lucky Charms on our back porch for our girls to find. They love it! Who wouldn’t? Even I love it.
Now, when my girls eat Lucky Charms they insist that I NOT add milk into their bowl. Because, when I do pour them a bowl, breakfast suddenly becomes a marshmallow treasure hunt. They dig, with their hands, all through the bowl to find the marshmallows. And when all the marshmallows have been found and consumed, they push the bowl away and emphatically say, “Done!”
Before I can respond, they are down from their chair and gone. The aftermath looks like this.
As a dad, I now have a decision to make. What do I do with three bowlfuls of Lucky Charms with no charms? Do I use this as a teachable moment and make my kids eat them? They say, “pick your battles” and that seems like a pointless battle to fight. Do I thrown them away? I don’t want to be wasteful.
And then I think to myself, “I haven’t had breakfast yet.” So I combine the three bowls into one and I eat their picked-through Lucky Charms. I’ve done this every morning for the past week.
This is what dads do. They eat their kids leftovers. Sometimes it’s a half eaten piece of fruit. Sometimes it’s a peanut butter and nutella sandwich that didn’t get finished. Sometimes it’s leftover fries and nuggets from Chick-fil-A. And other times, it’s Lucky Charms with no charms.
As a dad, you’re a “finisher.” You’ve calculated what it costs. You know it’s value and you don’t let things go to waste. Even though there are no marshmallows, because you’ve redeemed their leftovers, they’re still magically delicious.
That’s “How to Dad.”