I was in the back yard doing some spring yard work on a beautifully sunny day. The grass was a deep and rich green and the scent of the first cut of spring was in the air. My cell phone rang. It was my son. He was interviewing for a few internship positions with good companies and wanted to know what I thought he should do.
That phone call took me back to when our boys were quite young. I did not invest as much time in the boys as I should have when they were little. Work was taking a lot of time, working out was important, and there was little time left. I was letting good things get in the way of great. Thanks to suggestions from friends and family, I came to realize that investing time in these boys needed to become more of a priority. I made a committment to myself to place my family in front of my personal needs and desires. From that point forward I started making choices that allowed more time for investing in the family. I traded my activities for bonding with the boys through their sports and interests. I have even made career choices that may have slowed my career progression but strengthened the family bonds.
I would gladly trade everything that was sacrificed over the years just for that one phone call. Those sacrifices helped these boys grow to become fine young men. Those sacrifices were choices to build relationships and on that spring afternoon, my son was calling for career advice. We talked for 20 minutes or so and my wife says that I was grinning from ear to ear when we finished. I was grinning because of the great feeling you get when you connect with someone with whom you have a longstanding deep relationship. I knew I had that with my son.
Let me urge those of you who are Fathers of young children, be a Dad. Mothers and Grandparents, invest in your children. Build relationships. It’s an investment that will pay dividends for a lifetime.