Dad Advice: Make, “Mud and the Blood and the Beer” Memories.
The earliest fond memory I have of my dad is of him sitting on my bed next to me, strumming his guitar and singing, “A Boy Named Sue.” I still distinctly remember the phrase, the way my dad sang it – just like Johnny Cash: “We crashed through the wall and into the street, kicking and a’ gouging in the mud and the blood and beer…”
It really is not such a great song to sing to a 5 year old, but I still cherish those times with my dad. The bonding moments were few and far between with my father, who was as conflicted as Cash and the characters that he often sang about.
But the fact remains, that I remember with fondness, the times when he did give me affection. And this one sticks out vividly in my mind.
So I make it a point to have at least one bonding moment with each of my kids everyday. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant. It doesn’t always have to be a daddy date with Pirate Paks at White Spot Restaurant. (Mmm I want a BC burger…) It can be as simple as sitting on the bed and strumming your guitar, or going in the backyard and blowing bubbles, sitting on the floor and laughing and having a good time. It can be as simple as stopping what you are doing for 5 minutes to listen to your child tell a joke, or tell you about something he learned that day – we are so busy that we often miss out on the little moments. They are excited about new things, and when we delight in what they delight in, we create lasting positive memories for them.
Lately, Meagan and Kaitlyn love it when I make up stories for them. I have been regailing them with the fanciful story of “The Rabbit.”
“There was a Rabbit named Rose, who lived in a hole in the ground. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a rabbit-hole, and that means carrots…”
Ok it is just a retelling of the Hobbit, with a rabbit named Rose, a wizard named Olaf ( who happens to also be a snowman), and a bunch of puppies, who head out to meet the pretty dragon Leela who has taken over the carrot and dog food stash. Along the way they meet a vast assortment of colourful characters.
The girls love it.
They squeal with delight at each twist in the story, laugh at the antics of the puppies, and they even help come up with new characters and plot twists. It has been goping on for months now, and it takes just 5 or 10 minutes a couple times per week.
I am hopeful that my children will have “mud and the blood and the beer” memories of our time together. Memories that are ingrained in them of the positive times we spent together. I just pray that the memories are made more frequently than mine were, and the content is a little more happy, and a little less “Man in Black.”
Take the time to make these memories with your kids.
Show them love.
Johnny Cash would have been 83 today, had he not been called out of this life. I won’t post “A Boy Named Sue” on the blog, since there are a couple off colour words in it. So here is, “The Man Comes Around.” One of my faves.