Words by Chris Farley -
Happy Father's Day to all the awesome dads and father figures!
I'm blessed to be raising 3 active, at times crazy, boys. While I have never been more exhausted in life (I say this as a marathon runner, by the way), it's everything I could have ever wanted and more.
And since we celebrated Father's Day this past weekend, I want to share a story of a simple lesson I've learned from being a dad...
"Let's go to the Race Track, Daddy."
A couple times a week, my 2 oldest kids will say this to me. Their idea of the "Race Track" is the local High School track that is basically across the street from where we currently live, which is pretty cool.
I think many dads dream about playing catch with their kids. I want that dream too, but as a lifelong runner, having my kids ask to go to the track with me? Yeah, that's pretty awesome.
But let's snap out of the euphoria for a second and remember my 2 oldest kids are almost 4 and 6. So most of the time, I'm just trying to get them to listen to simple instructions–"Boys, use your listening ears!!"
How many times a day do I have to say that!?
Sometimes I overhear them using very adult words, and I think, "Where in the world did they learn that word?" (All I have to do is look in the mirror to find that answer.) Other times, they do something they shouldn't have done, and I think,
"Wow, that seems like something I just did." (Again, looking in the mirror, I did, in fact, just do that thing, and of course, it didn't go unseen by the boys.) And of course, they sometimes want to go to the "Race Track" because they see me run almost daily.
So they may not always be listening to me, but make no mistake about it, they are watching me.
Before I had kids, I envisioned coaching and teaching them with inspiring speeches and motivational talks.
There isn't a pair of "listening ears" on this planet that would help them lock into what I am saying. But they do respond to what I am doing. The good and the bad.
So when I'm around my kids, it's a conscious effort to spend less time on my phone, less barking at them with instructions, and more time actually in the mix, doing stuff with them.
Because I am shaping who they are by what I do more than what I say. As always, actions honestly do speak louder than words. I'm sure my Dad told me that at some point in my life before I had kids, I just probably wasn't using my listening ears.