DadPad Quotes & Notes: Armed and Empty

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A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.  ~Author Unknown

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Someone once said that kids are like dogs in that they rush into their dads (owners) arms when they come through the front door.  Of course, dogs continue that ritual until they get too old to move that fast.  Kids stop much earlier.  When my kids were young, I was the most popular guy in the world at about 5:30.  “DAAAAADYYYY” was what I heard.  It’s the greatest sound in the world to a father.  Chest pumped and chin raised.  I was the most popular guy in their lives.  Now, two of them are in college and the third is going to be there next year.  Once in a while my “little” girl will toss me a “DAADYY” when she’s home and in a good mood.  But most of the time it’s a grunt or moan (still not sure which one is which :)).  Still good to hear, though.

My limited memory doesn’t allow me to remember all the times I heard that scream of adoration focused on my entry.  But, I don’t need a good memory to tell you two things about them: 1) it always made me feel important and 2) I missed too many nights of hearing it when I could have due to late nights at work or other activities.  At the time, I knew it was important to be involved in their lives.  But, I didn’t always think about my options when the time came to come home for dinner or not.  Sometimes I didn’t have a choice.  However, sometimes I did.

If you’re a dad whose got kids in those “DDAAAAAADDYYYYY” screaming years, can I encourage you to make the choice to hold those arms open wide, enter through that front door and receive the one who thinks you turn the world on its axis into your empty arms?  Those days will be over sooner than you think and you won’t have any option but to walk through the door armed and left empty.  Don’t let these days slip by.

For discussion:  What can you do when you don’t have the option to be there for dinner or to come home often enough to hear your child screaming your name as they run into your arms as you enter your house?  How has making the decision to be home during those early years benefited you and your child?  How did you make that hard choice?

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