Just for Dads ~ December 2022
When I think about my childhood, I remember rolling down the hill in Goodyear tires. Those were Good Years. I do have many great memories of my childhood, but there are very few pictures, videos, written stories, or even holiday traditions to document those years. The end of the year is a time filled with family, but also stress and work at a frenetic pace. I am very thankful that my wife and family took so many pictures and videos of our own family. All the traditions of the holiday during the month of the December, from the time my son was born, have been documented and kept safe. We make picture books for each year, and those books are what I say I would grab if there was a fire and I had to take something and get out in a hurry.
At the end of each year, Vineyard Family Services, the nonprofit where I serve as executive director, sets out to compile a list of major accomplishments and milestones to send to partners, donors, volunteers, and other supporters. As we work to make the list, it is amazing how much I forget from the year. I need our brainstorming sessions to recollect memories that seemed, at the time, so vivid and happened not that long ago. It is a wonderful cathartic experience to remember and document those events so that we can look back on them later.
This Christmas season, take time to slow down, even if life is overwhelmingly busy. Take pictures, write it down, and make memories together. Record conversations about what your kids are currently enjoying and about the season in general. Encourage them to write letters to Santa and keep copies. You won’t regret it. All the memories we make together are super important. With the hectic life pace we keep, it would be a shame to miss out, then look back and say, “I wish I had….” You get one opportunity to build your family and raise your children. Don’t be the person who looks back and laments all the times you wanted to slow down and didn’t. One thing I do appreciate about our experience with Covid is that it made everyone slow down. Now, life has come back with a vengeance and at a faster pace than ever before. We have a right to say, “Hey, this pace of life is not okay,” and to just stop and focus on things that really matter. Take time this Christmas season to remind yourself of what really matters. I hope you make wonderful memories together.