I have a wonderful memory of being on a school bus going to downtown Chicago for a field trip when I was in 5th grade. We were going to see the inner workings of the Chicago Tribune. This was a very special day for me because it was the first time my dad was a chaperone on one of my class field trips. This was a moment in time that makes me smile thinking about it.
I remember the day very well because not only did we spend time learning about how a newspaper gets all put together. We spent time at Lincoln Park Zoo and it is across the street from where my dad at the time lived. What a special day of getting to hang out with your dad, holding his hand and yes kind of showing off at the same time.
When I became a parent on March 11, 2003, around 5:04 AM, I wanted to create those special memories as well. Because of that field trip as a kid, that memory helped me realize why it is so crucial for dads to be part of their kids’ lives. That day had such a profound impact on me all because of simply asking my dad to be a chaperone.
Not only have I been on several field trips with my son Connor but also we have done guy trips back to Chicago. My dad and I took trips together when I was a kid and had a lot of fun. My dad took me places where I learned how to water-ski and play Foosball.
With Connor, we have been to the sites and sounds of “The Windy City” that includes Wrigley Field, The Bean, and Chicago style Pizza places.
When I hear about stories that I have read online or in the newspaper about when kids have achieved an award and they talk about the influence that their dad made on them, those stories just make me think. I remember the first trip to Chicago with Connor. This was the first time he and I were on a plane together and I had asked the pilot if I could take a picture of Connor in the cockpit. When he said yes, it was like I just won the lottery.
These are just some stories to show why we as dads need to be there for our kids. I have special memories with my dad and have created ones with my son.
This past weekend Connor and I headed to Steamboat Springs Colorado for a Bantam (under 14 years old) hockey tournament. This was a great trip (even with a 1-3 recorded after the weekend) for me because it was simply a father and son moment. Not 100% sure if in my opinion, I would be a good dad without that first field trip with my dad.
Because of hockey we have taken trips together. Two years ago was San Diego, last year we took a road trip to Wyoming. Coming up Connor and I are going to Tampa (yes hockey). To me, the scores do not matter but the time together is way more vital.
Dad’s, if you have never have spent time on a school bus filled with young kids on a field trip, you are missing out. Take the time to be a chaperone every chance you can, trust me there are no regrets. You never know what memories you will create by being an influence not just on your kids but maybe even your kid’s friends.
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