By NICK CHILES
With the news that inspiring Baby Avery in Texas had passed away at five and a half months, bringing an end to the fanciful bucket list her parents had been keeping for her on the Avery Can blog that has drawn more than 3 million visitors in just weeks, I got to thinking about the subject of creating joy with our children.
It’s a subject that we addressed in detail in the book I wrote with Etan Thomas called “Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge.” In the book, we explored the idea that one of a father’s more important jobs is to create joy with his children. It becomes especially important to remember in these tough economic times, when money stresses and financial pressures could keep us easily distracted and annoyed by our children.
But kids don’t know anything about financial pressures. Nor should they need to know anything about them. They are blissfully engaged in the only time in their lives when they have a chance to be free of stress and financial pressures. So let’s get down there with them and see the world from their eyes. Literally drop down on the floor and see them face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball. When you’re on their level, seeing things as they see them, you must stay there and engage them, play with them, wrestle with them, until you hear the high-pitched squeal of their pleasure. Only then have you completed your work for the day.
In the case of Baby Avery, her parents had been told that she would die one day soon from an incurable disease, so their mission was to make the most of the time they had together. It is a wonderful sentiment that touched people deep down, but it doesn’t have to require impending death for us to learn to appreciate the wonder that is the lives of our children.
Sit down with your kids and come up with a bucket list for the upcoming summer months. It could include wild and crazy things that you will likely never get to—I’m talking on the order of jumping out of a plane or bungee jumping—or things that are way more manageable, like camping out in the backyard or painting a giant mural on the wall of the playroom in the basement.
The idea is to have so much fun together that you won’t stop laughing the entire summer. The point is, you don’t have to wait on bad news to try to create good news.
Come August and September, you will have created such long-lasting memories that soon you’ll want to make every day a bucket list day.
And that’s not a bad idea either.
1. PS 22′s Cover Of Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love Of All” Reminds Us To Put Children First
2. An Exclusive Interview with NBA Veteran Etan Thomas About His New Book “Fatherhood”
3. Summer Madness: Dangerous Stuff I’m Going To Let My Girls Do During Vacation