The other day, my little one and her dad had some time to kill before running an errand. They decided to stop by a neighborhood golf course to putt some balls. With her dad’s oversized putter in tow (grabbed from the trunk of the car), she marched to the putting green and waited anxiously for her dad to show her how to get the ball into the tiny hole.
As I watched in amazement at her enthusiasm and joy while she hit her first shot, I couldn’t help but wonder what impact this experience was having on her.
What would it be like, I thought, to hang out with someone you truly admire and adore with all your heart for a 9 or 18 hole round of golf? What type of wonderful memories could a father and daughter create through conversation and just been in each other’s presence?
See, up until this day, I had never really been that impressed by golf courses. After all, what could be interesting about walking around, chasing a small white ball just to get it into a tiny hole (no hurt feelings gapmuse golfers, just been honest)? But for a moment, watching my little one play, I was taken aback by the beauty around us. There were the evergreen trees that extended as far as the eye could see, birds chirping as they flew by, geese swimming in a nearby pond, and wild flowers sprouting along the golf trails. Even the well-manicured greens could not be ignored.
Suddenly, I was struck by the thought of what I would give just to make one more memory with my dad having lost him just a month and a half ago. Even though I didn’t do many activities with my dad growing up (he was your traditional breadwinner type of dad who worked long hours), I find myself randomly remembering the rare times that we did something together.
As we mused a couple of years ago in this Father’s Day post, there is no relationship quite as special as the one between a father and daughter. It should be cherished and constantly nurtured.
Here are 5 fun activities that will help you, our gapmuse dads, do just that:
1. Play a Sport
Introduce your little one to a sport you love that you can play one on one together, such as golf, tennis, soccer, frisbee, volleyball, etc.
2. Take a Ride
Have a passion? Why not share it with your little one. Whether it’s bike riding, surfing, car racing, or more, your daughter will be delighted to share the experience with you.
3. Be creative
Craft or do an activity that requires creativity together. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Something as simple as painting or decorating Easter eggs can be exhilarating for a little one.
Bedtime stores are always a child’s favorite so why not jump in on the fun! My little one loves to read with her dad. It’s not only a chance to bond, but also to get a different perspective. After all, moms and dads do things way differently! Don’t believe me? Check out this great write up in the Wall Street Journal on why it’s so important to let dad do stuff his way.
Head to a beach, museum, woods, or any other places that you loved as a child. Your adventures don’t have to break the bank because children are easy to please. Something as simple as discovering rocks on the beach or wild flowers on a trail are due to delight your little ones.
Although these activities are pretty simple, their long term effects are invaluable. I strongly believe that the confidence, self-assurance, and high self-esteem in my little ones stems from the strong bond they share with their dad.
As I reminisce about my own father, I can’t help but be reminded how much he shaped the woman I am today. Even though it’ll be a tough Father’s Day for me, it’ll be one filled with fond memories of him. I am grateful to him for setting a great example of what a father should be to his daughters.
Happy Father’s day to all our gapmuse dads!