During this lockdown, I have had more face-to-face time with my kids than I ever have in their entire lives. While I’ve been working from home, I’ve had lunch with them every single day. With no commute, we’ve used the extra time to create hilarious games to play and read through exciting books together. If there’s a question about schoolwork, I’ve been able to just walk over to the dinner table to help them out. And with all other social gatherings cancelled, our weekends have been filled to the brim with family time.
After three months of this, it has become extremely clear to my wife and me how valuable all this extra time together has been to my kids. They like to spend time with their dad. They get so excited when they hear me walking downstairs from my home office. And how can I blame them? I’m pretty cool. Just kidding. Kind of.
All jokes aside, as fathers, our presence matters. One of the most important things we can do as dads is to simply just be there—present and in the moment with our children. It’s one of the best gifts we can give to them. When they know we are present, then they know they can come to us when they need help, when they have a question, when they’re hurt, or when they just need to have fun. I hope that years from now my kids will be able to look back on this time and remember all the good things we were able to experience together.
But with the lockdown loosening up, I have found myself feeling a bit sad about losing all this intimate time with my family. I’ve had to remind myself that the lockdown was an extraordinary and unprecedented time.
So, if I want to continue to cultivate special closeness that has grown during the lockdown, then I’m going to have to work extra hard to find ways to be present with my kids once life gets back to normal. I’m going to have to take advantage of every moment I can to let my kids know that they are seen, loved, and cared for by their father.
And isn’t that what our Heavenly Father does for us? He is always present. He is always with us, ready and waiting to hear from us. And because our Heavenly Father is present, we as His children can thrive too.
“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.” HEBREWS 13:5
Kyle Hatfield is a publishing professional and the proud dad of three wonderful young girls.