Daddy, chase me!!! Daddy, catch me!!! Daddy, teach me!!!
These familiar commands are, for most of us, a daily plea of “starved attention” from our kids. As a stay at home dad my kids have the benefit of always having a parent available. Its both a privilege and burden to be that rock for my children.
I have three very energetic, strong minded and at times overly outspoken children. My daughter is nine and my two boys are 6 and 3 years old. All of my children shower me with endless unconditional love and affection, which I treasure more than life itself. Why is it that every time I pick up my kids from school or scouts or any place where their friends are there, does my self confidence falter momentarily?
I am both blessed and plagued with a physical disability that effects my walking and my sense of touch in my legs. I use a cane at age 34 and walk with a significant limp and mobility can be exhausting depending on the day. My disability is something that I have dealt with my whole life and I have honed my abilities to shield and assert myself against the brutal real life questions and stares but my children have not been exposed to my many years of practice.
My older children easily and without any reservation field questions about me when their inquisitive friends gain the courage to ask why do I walk the way I do. Their willingness to give explanation on my behalf is not where my “self-confidence” wanes. My kids are all very active children. I have been coach for softball, assistant coach for softball, assistant den leader, coach dad in the backyard etc…these are normal roles that I believe most dads are excited and often eager to fill.
My physical limitations are what tends to make simple enjoyments like running with my kids and helping my children to ride a bike impossible. I can’t always do what their open and eager pleas request and seeing their realization that I can’t, rips a whole through my heart that short of a cure tomorrow will never be completely whole. I know my kids will be just fine and so will I but my internal struggle every day to cope with the realism that being Superdad will have to be adjusted to being a super Dad. I know my kids still view me as Superdad in many ways but eventually real life shows up and I will “stand strong” as long as my body allows…which is just fine for my family!