Last week, we talked about some words that become magical when you become a dad. Although “I love you” is always powerful, suddenly, when you have kids, the phrase “as a family” becomes one of the most meaningful expressions in your life. It sets your priorities. It defines your existence.
But there is another short phrase—a question, actually—that also has the power to melt your heart. Five short words that stop you cold, that can make you quit anything you’re doing in an instant. Or at least they should, if you’re doing this fatherhood thing right. Those words?
Yes, you will. Because that’s your job. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how old they are. It shouldn’t matter what the game is—whether it’s playing in the dirt or playing some boring, nerdy board game. It shouldn’t matter if it’s a sport you’re terrible at…or a sport they’re terrible at.
Screw work. Forget that phone call. Put aside what you’ve been upset about—what you’ve been upset with them about. This is a chance for you to connect. This is a chance for you to spend time together. This is a chance to be present, to teach as well as to learn. This is a chance to do what only you, their father, can do.
Nobody knows how many more opportunities we will get to do this. So take it. Answer the question “Will you play with me?” with the only acceptable answer: “Are you kidding? I’d love to.”