I am currently at the Fernbank Natural History museum with J and G. They are running around a kids’ experience while we wait for the iMax show to start. Most of the people I see around me are grandparent, nannies (I assume), day care counselors, and grandparents. Few fathers and those that I see are with a significant other that is chasing the kiddo. There is another father here by himself enjoying the exhibits with his kid. Most of the people that I see are staring at their phones or attempting to take a photo of their little person as they look at a bird or point at the bones of a dinosaur. I wonder how many of them are just watching their kids as their minds expand in real time. While this isn’t the first visit for J, G, and I, there are a few new areas to check out, including the space exhibit.
The challenge of fathering is being present and taking the time to be there for them. In a world that expects father’s to be always productive, masculine, and put together, it is difficult to realize in the moments that we just need to be there, watching, observing, and joyfully interacting with our kids.
Presence is my real challenge. If I watch J and G long enough, they will pull me into their gravity of joy, curiosity, wonder, and adventure. They also remind me – I can be in this gravity without them as well, for me!