Best 'Father's Day' gift is being outdoors with family
While it's been a couple of years since our first child was born, this is really the first time I've pondered Father's Day from the receiving end. I've been blessed with two wonderful children. My 2-year-old son Joe has spent nearly every waking ...
While it's been a couple of years since our first child was born, this is really the first time I've pondered Father's Day from the receiving end.
I've been blessed with two wonderful children. My 2-year-old son Joe has spent nearly every waking hour outdoors or scrunching his nose on the window waiting for someone to take him outside. We've given up cleaning the front picture window for this reason.
My daughter is not yet a year old, but there is no doubt, judging by the change in her disposition, she would prefer an afternoon outdoors in her swing to anything other than trying to stick her big toe in her mouth.
For some reason, this year I'm contemplating Father's Day in a new light. Perhaps it stems from my wife's frequent hints about what I would like to do for my special day.
In a few words, I would like to fish. In a few more words, fish with my son and daughter. And it's not because I'm hungry for a fresh bluegill fillet. It's the time spent with my son and daughter outdoors.
I'm sure scores of fathers will wake up with breakfast in bed, or head off for an early tee time. Nothing wrong with that, but everyone has their own interests. My preferred gift is time to spend with my family outdoors.
The ills of society and all that contributes to it has been, studied, scrutinized and reported for generations. But I don't need an Ivy League report to know that spending time with my kids is important. I thank my dad, and mom too, for spending time with me, and along the way instilling my love for all things outdoors.
It doesn't have to be fishing, either. The key is spending time with your wife, kids and family. Whether it's golf, hiking, camping or hunting and fishing, the common denominator is the arena is located outside.
I've spent countless hours watching my son investigate bugs, worms and other creepy crawlers and I'm sure as time goes on my daughter will do the same. Along the way I've learned to see things through a kid's eyes and it's a refreshing view.
As Father's Day came and went through the years, I honestly don't recall a specific event or activity taking place on the singular day in June. I do, however, look back fondly on all the time my dad spent with me, and most of that was time outdoors.
Trout fishing at McGregor Dam, crane hunting in Kidder County, water skiing on Lake LaMoure and picking acorns at Clausen Springs are just a few. We hunted geese in Bottineau County and ice-fished on Seefledt Dam. These times are eternally etched in my memory, and I'm certain many readers have similar fond memories of dad and the outdoors.
I thank my dad for spending time with me so I could learn all that is good about the outdoors. And the next time my kids are pounding on the door, yearning to get outside, I'll smile and won't wonder if it was inherited from their mother's side.
Happy Father's Day to all the dads.
Leier, a biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in West Fargo, can be reached at (701) 277-0719 or at email@example.com