The Father Who is There

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I wrote the following reflection for Father’s day last year and it was originally published at Truth and Charity ForumHappy Father’s day to all dads!

Recently, at the park with my wife and son, I witnessed one of the saddest sights I’ve seen in a long time. A little boy, about five or six, was there with his dad. Normally, this would be a wonderful thing, but the tragedy was, they weren’t spending time with each other. The dad was engrossed in his phone — ignoring his child.

No matter what he tried, this little boy could not get his father’s attention. He jumped up and down yelling, “Dad! Dad! Look at me!” He climbed up the jungle gym, went down the slide, raced in circles, all the while hoping that he might win the affectionate glance, the loving interaction, of his father. But the dad wouldn’t even look up from his phone. He would respond with a distracted grunt, if that.

Finally, depressed and dejected, the little boy sat in a swing by himself. He didn’t swing, he just sat there. His joy and enthusiasm had been extinguished by the inattention of his father, whose attention he very obviously craved. No doubt, his childish heart was grieved and wounded by his relative unimportance compared to a cell phone.

This particular father may have had his reasons for being preoccupied, but I have a hard time fathoming anything in the digital world of apps and emails that would have been more important or more interesting than his precious child—a child who looked up to him and loved him. He simply wanted to play with his dad.

Read the rest at Truth and Charity Forum.

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One Response to “The Father Who is There”

  1. Wonderful piece. Absolutely perfect. I cannot express or explain how spending time with my daughter makes me feel. I had a friend tell me once that I needed to have more “me time” and play more golf. I explained that my daughter is central to me and on the weekends I want to spend as much time with her as possible because in a few short years, her friends will be the center of her life, not me! But I also want her to feel secure in all other future relationships and that starts with 100% acceptance from her father! He has no kids, so he did not understand.

    Thanks for writing this!
    FBF

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