National play with Dad day – Nov. 25th

By Kurt Stapleton

I had no idea this was an actual National day until I saw it while researching blog ideas. Once I saw it, I knew I had to write about this. 

Growing up, my dad was always gone. He was a truck driver who lived his life on the road driving across country. Coming and going as he pleased. When he was home he was busy doing things he enjoyed, such as fishing, hunting, trapping and going to the bar. These are activities I did not enjoy, but I did them anyway because it was the only time I had to spend with dad. I honestly don’t remember playing catch with him in the backyard, or going camping, no sports. 

I didn’t realize it then but I was being taught what a dad looks like. Unfortunately, it was a bad lesson to learn as I became this exact type of dad to my kids. I was always gone doing my own thing, too busy to play with my kids. I worked and then I would go out and hang out with my friends, or playing drums somewhere in the state. Sometimes I would be gone all weekend with the band. Not spending time with my kids. I was not a good dad. Not the kind of dad I wanted when I was a kid.

When my 3rd son was born, and I was in a better place in my life, I decided to be that dad I wanted. It took a lot of unlearning and a lot of self-discipline, along with encouragement from my wife, I am becoming the dad I want my son to model.  I want him to grow up wit ha better understanding of what a dad looks like and how he should interact with his kids if he chooses to have them. Now days if my son wants to do something fun, I drop what I’m doing and play with him. We go to the park, we go fishing, we do things HE wants to do, not just what I want to do. National play with dad day is more than just 1 day playing with your kids, it’s about checking in to see how you’re doing as a dad. Are you there for them mentally and physically? I’m getting there.