My two youngest, Benjie, age 5, and Callie, age 2, never cease to amaze me. They can have fun doing anything. They don’t need toys. They don’t need help. I never hear them tell me that they are bored–something I can’t say about my nine year old. As I sat here assembling this week’s The Father Life in my living room, Benjie and Callie decided to occupy themselves here. Everyone else in the house has been fascinated by “Guitar Hero” for most of the afternoon. Benjie and Callie are too young for it to keep their attention for long. So they set off in search of something else to do and decided that here in the living room was the place to be. First, they turned on the radio and danced. Then they played some sort of game that involved moving from one end of the couch to the other. I have no idea what it was, but they thought it was quite fun… it held their attention for quite a while. Next, a break for some milk. Then, back to the couch… only this time, they were pushing it out from the wall and searching for lost treasures underneath it. Every rediscovered toy and trinket brought excitement. They didn’t just find them, either; they took the time to put each item away where it belonged! Now they’re off to the bathroom… sounds like they’re playing in the bathtub. Who knew an empty bathtub could be such fun?
Family is a precious commodity. Benjie and Callie’s close bond brings them companionship now; I can only pray that that bond will continue to be strong and will provide them strength and support for years to come. This morning in church I witnessed another family, rocked by tragic circumstances that should be shaking them apart, instead drawing strength from each other and redoubling their efforts to fight through this present situation together. They’re stronger now than I have ever seen them in the past, and I have no doubt they will thrive as they pull together.
This week’s The Father Life touches on family in different ways. We have an article from Chad Kyler that talks about the tenuous high-wire act of parenting with skill and grace. Terry Aicher, from DC Metro Dads, checks in with a reminder to tend to the foundational relationship in many of our families: marriage. And from George R. Williams, MS, MFT, a sobering reminder of the work that is needed to rebuild the many broken, fragmented families in our inner cities.
Until next week,
Ben Martin is the CEO of THE FATHER LIFE. He lives with his wife and five children in the Rochester, NY, area.