As we're all thinking of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary school I have heard over and over from parents that this event caused them to "hug their kids a little closer." From our nation's President, to the minister in the pulpit, to the conversations overheard in grocery stores, this is the sentiment universally expressed. And while plenty of moms have said it, I have actually heard more dads say it in public settings. And that has been so encouraging to me. Fathers play such a pivotal role in their children's lives and development and one glimmer of light in this tragedy is that it can turn our thoughts back towards home and we can spend more quality time with the children in our lives.
Graham Scharf, writing for Q Ideas for the Common Good, tells us of his time as a stay-at-home dad. His column, available to read here, is the story of a dad who discovers the joy of sharing books with his daughter. He begins reading Honey for a Child's Heart and stumbles into a world of literature that he both remembers from his childhood and rediscovers with his daughter. As a young man bent on achievement his focus shifts and he comes to see fatherhood as a vocation. It's a great article and one you may want to share with the fathers in your life.
I was blessed with a father who read to his children nearly every single night. Whether we were making our way through Bible Stories for Children or The Little House in the Big Woods, it was something the entire family looked forward to. And this is in a family where plenty of hours were spent during the day reading with mom. Now that I am an adult my appreciation for this time continues to grow. I now know how much easier it would have been to turn on a movie, send us to bed to read to ourselves, or just zone out. I am so grateful that I grew up before the days of the personal computer, the iPad, and the iPhone. It's so easy to have our attention sucked into that vortex.
If you want to encourage a dad to read more with his children, I would highly suggest putting the following titles under the Christmas tree:
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