This past weekend was Father’s Day. I’m not usually a huge fan of “Hallmark” holidays. I feel like you should appreciate your family year-round and not feel like you need to buy a gift to show your appreciation. I had a great time with my family over the weekend. It wasn’t that they did anything special for me. We just had a lot of fun together.

Here’s a recap of our weekend.

Friday Night: LEGO Night

lego-storeThis past Friday night was a perfect example of why I love being a dad. I had a semi-planned and yet somewhat spontaneous adventure with my kids. We went to the LEGO Store in the Kenwood Mall in Cincinnati. I was in Cincinnati for a work meeting and since my wife was going to a wedding nearby with her parents, she brought the kids to me and we headed over to the mall. I had originally planned on going to the LEGO Store by

The kids and I spent over an hour in the LEGO Store and then grabbed Chick-Fil-A in the food court. After we finished eating, I let the kids open their new LEGO sets and build them (fortunately, no parts were lost). There was some major road work being done on our route home and I wanted to let the traffic die down. When we were finished eating and playing with our new LEGO sets, we decided to head out.  After a pit stop at a pretzel joint and walking around for 15 minutes (I didn’t pay attention to which door we came in), we were able to find the exit.

When we were leaving the mall, a nice lady held the door open for the four of us. As we walked through it and she saw the smiles on all of our faces, she said “Good job, dad. Have a happy Father’s Day on Sunday.”

I really appreciated her comments. I had a quick moment of self-reflection and thought about how much I love being a dad. Sure, we were all happy because we just bought some new LEGO sets. We had a great time together. Our two hour drive back home was surprisingly pleasant as well. I even let the kids stay up super-late so they could play with their new LEGO sets.

Saturday: Fun at the Pool

pool-timeAfter a late Friday night, the family slept in. Once everyone was up, we decided to go to the in-laws’ pool. All of my nieces and nephews were there. It ended up that I was the only adult in the pool with 9 kids. When this happens, I become the aqua jungle gym and have to throw all the kids all over the pool. They especially love when I get in an inter-tube and make waves. The pool is about 20 feet wide so we can get some good waves going. We also started doing this thing last year where all the kids climb on the outside of tube (with me still in the middle) and I try to shake them off. It’s like the aquatic equivalent of a bucking bull.

Being out in the sun for 3-4 hours was a lot of fun but also very tiring. We didn’t do much that evening.

Sunday: Flag Football and Father’s Day

2014-06-15 12.55.51Over the previous 7+ weeks, I was coaching both of my boys’ flag football teams and it just so happened that Father’s Day weekend was the end of the season.

Each week, we would practice for an hour and then play our game. Since I was coaching two teams, it meant that I was on the field for 4+ hours. I love flag football and I love coaching but I learned that it’s too much to do two teams at once. My oldest played in a league a few years ago (I coached) but it was Cam’s first opportunity playing and having me be the coach for any sport. They both had good games in the final week. Cam was on his way to his first ever touchdown but got tackled and Ethan had a couple of catches and good flag pulls. We all had a great time with them playing in the league but I was extremely happy that it was over.

After the games were finished, we went took my step-father, Greg and my mom out for dinner. They came and watched Ethan’s game. I truly appreciate Greg for taking on the dad role over the past 20+ years. I might not call him “dad” but that’s what he’s been to me and my brother. We really appreciate everything he’s done for us and our family. I love that he gets to spend time with my kids and plays a very active role in their lives. I know I wouldn’t be half the dad I am today without him. I would have liked to spend more time with him on Father’s Day but sometimes other commitments (ex. flag football) get in the way.

When you have a good relationship with your parents, I like to think that they know you appreciate them and don’t need a particular day to get confirmation. That’s how I feel about my relationship with my kids, I won’t care if they don’t ever get me a gift for Father’s Day. It’s more about getting to spend quality time with them and having fun together. Is there a better gift than that?

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend. I look forward to many more weekends like it.

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