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10 Ways I've Succeeded (so far) as a Father

Happy Father's Day! I have a bee in my bonnet about how Father's Day gets short shrift in our society, so I"m going to write a list of ways I can toot my own horn about it. I am actually having a pretty good Father's Day personally, but as a whole, I don't think our society knows all that goes into being a father...

    1. Swimming

    From giving them baths as babies, to getting in the water with them in Parent-Tot swimming lessons, to encouraging them and coaching them in pools, lakes and even oceans, to simply keeping them from drowning, I've done it all. Shout-out to my late Father-in-Law, who got Shark Boy to swim first.

    2. Biking

    I never want to hear how riding a bike is something you learn once and never forget. The Lightning Kid has to go through a steep learning curve every year. He did get rid of training wheels (after I swore we wouldn't use them and stick to balance bikes instead) thanks to a summer camp, who got him over the hump that I couldn't manage, but overall, it was me who put in the hours.

    3. Driving

    I probably do 90% of the family driving. School drop-offs, some school pick-ups, extra-curriculars, weekend trips; I get us there safely and on time.

    4. German

    We're trying to make sure our boys learn the German language so they stay connected to their heritage. I'm not as diligent as I could be, but I contribute a lot to ensuring they get to their lessons and homework, whether in person or online.

    5. Tech Support

    Speaking of online, Internet access is basically as crucial a utility to us as water or electricity, so keeping us connected and troubleshooting the outages falls to me.

    6. Weekend Breakfasts

    I can cook, but generally don't take care of most meals. One of the exceptions to this rule are Sunday breakfasts (although sometimes it's Saturday instead) - usually I make pancakes and try and teach the Lightning Kid how to cook in the process.

    7. Grilling

    Steaks and burgers.

    8. Help with STEM

    Our kids are still young enough that their math homework can be supported by either me or my wife, but I generally field most questions about Life, the Universe and Everything.

    9. First Aid

    Removing splinters is a big one, but dosing medicines, triaging injuries, cleaning scrapes, applying bandages is all part of the job.

    10. Cuddles

    We're lucky that our kids still want to snuggle before they go to sleep. I'm usually second choice, but I still do it so that they can sleep peacefully.

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