Often times I find myself wondering if I am a good father. Do I spend enough time with my kids? Am I too tough on my little ones? Am I a good example to them? All too often I focus on being a financial provider for my family, forgetting that there is so much more that a father needs to do. A big part of me starting to workout and eat healthy has been the hope that I will be around for my children for a very long time and that I will be an active participant in their lives for many years to come. I spend time playing Power Rangers and house with my kids. I make warm healthy meals for them everyday. But still I question if it is enough.
I know that a big part of parenting is being a participant and advisor in their activities. For me growing up, it was athletics. My father was the coach for many of my youth baseball teams, and we would often have conversations about the Bears. My father would take me to football, baseball, and basketball games, and he was a big influence and advisor for my athletic competitions throughout my life. I am sincerely trying to do the same for my kids. Both Alaric and Amara have been to Illini football, baseball, and basketball games with me and Katie. I will coach a second year of t-ball for Alaric this summer. Neither of my children show an overwhelming interest in traditional sports, and to be honest with you, I am fine with that. I want my children to be happy in whatever they do.
I have been extremely happy the influence that Katie and I have had on our children in terms of fitness. Both kids see us working out on a daily basis, giving them an understanding of exercise to stay fit. During the summer, we will all go for family bike rides, and I am very excited to have the kids riding on their own in the years to come. On several occasions, the family will have timed races. When we are inside of the house, we time each other with a stopwatch to see how fast they can run from the family room to the front door and back. In the summer we race to the neighbors sidewalk and back. And they are very enthusiastic about it, often arguing about whose turn it is to run. I am very encouraged by my children's enthusiasm for running.
I hope my children's excitement for exercise doesn't diminish. I hope I continue to be an example of health and exercise throughout their lives. I hope they will look back one day and see me as a positive influence in their lives. I hope I am a good father.