I just returned from my annual father-daughter weekend. My dad has been a hockey fan since before I was born. I can just picture my dad as a kid playing boot hockey in the alleys behind the houses in snowy Minnesota or walking to the pond, throwing those skates on and playing hockey right there. So, every year we go to a huge hockey tournament together. (When I say huge, just let me say that one day there were 27,000 in attendance just to give you an idea of the size.) We have been doing this for many years and we love it. We love hockey and we love our time together. I look forward to it. I take off work every year for this. It’s a priority. And it’s a real community event. You get to know other season ticket holders because you sit by them year after year. The man who sits next to us has been bringing his son for years. I have seen that kid watch hockey with his dad from the time he was a toddler and now he’s as tall as me. Not only is this a big Minnesota thing, a community thing, a cultural thing (hockey, a Zamboni, cheese curds and mini donuts automatically qualifies it for a cultural event), but it’s also a family thing. When you sit in your seats and survey the crowd you see many grandparents with grandkids, fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters and so on. I enjoy this special time with my dad and I want this same kind of thing for my stepkids and my kids! That relationship, that fun, that trust, that bonding, those memories.
And so my mind wanders to the blended family world that I live in. My husband is great about making time for 1:1 dates with his daughters. The kids are getting older, and the dates continue. The special time ranges from lunch dates, to fishing trips, to cross country site-seeing trips, wake boarding/boating days, to buying donuts and watching cheesy movies, to just doing yard work together all day.
My husband and I enjoy reading books by author Dr. Kevin Leman. Not only is he wise, but he’s hilarious. He writes on many topics but we especially enjoy reading about the tremendous impact a daddy has on his daughter, and the impact a mommy has on her son. Not only does this relationship affect the development of our sons and daughters (it helps shape them), but it also impacts their future dating and marital relationships.
Today I am thankful that my husband really understands the importance of his relationship with each of his kids and that he spends special 1:1 time with each. I’m glad that despite his divorce and despite our very busy and continually-blending family, this special time with the kids has remained a priority. (And I’m appreciative of the miraculous way he balances all of these “dates” so that no one feels less loved or left out).
Psalm 127:3a in The Message says: “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?”
What are you thankful for today?