This is a totally cute video that Jeanne Sager over at The Stir found of a dad and his toddler. The video isn’t great because the family is doing something awesome and amazing. It isn’t a video of a day spent at an amusement park, or a concert. They aren’t doing an educational craft project. They aren’t running errands, then packing a picnic and meeting friends at a park, then topping off the day with a movie at a drive-in theater. Nope, they’re just hanging out. They’re doing nothing more than sitting in front of a camera and making silly faces, laughing, tickling, and just hanging out together. And throughout the video, you can see how much they love each other and how much they enjoy just being together.
We parents, especially those of us who work outside the home, put so much effort into planning fun with our kids that we end up with like the crazed Clark Griswold who punches Marty Moose in the face at the end of National Lampoon’s Vacation. “Well I’ll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun. I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun. We’re all gonna have so much &*$%ing fun we’ll need plastic surgeory to remove our damn smiles.”
But somehow, when we plan our fun, it tends to fall flat. The results of our best-laid plans just never seem to measure up to our expectations and the fun outing turns into a misery-filled debaucle for all involved.
If we, on the other hand, remember to simply enjoy our children, then the ordinary becomes amazing. The little, routine things we do become the memories we will cherish forever. One of the things from my childhood that I remember fondly was playing a game with my sister and my dad before bedtime. We’d turn out the lights and my dad would hold different objects up to a flashlight. My sister and I would guess what the object was based on the shadow it cast on the wall. Simple, yes? But it’s a lasting memory that makes me smile to this day.
See for yourself. Doesn’t this video just make you smile? Doesn’t it make you want to just play with your kids? What are some of your favorite memories as a child or with your own children where you were doing nothing more than hanging out?
photo: flickr Roger Green
Read this Dad’s humorous insights on parenting: 10 Tips for New Dads!