I love being a dad. Even though I spend most of my days at work, I usually have two hours alone with Clara in the morning. She hangs out with me while I have my quiet time and usually falls asleep next to me while I do some work on my website. I’ll push her in her stroller when I go for a run and she’ll hang out while I make my breakfast.
I don’t know if I’d be as comfortable being a dad if it weren’t for my three nieces and one nephew. Before they came along, I had never spent a lot of time with infants and toddlers. While I’m no seasoned veteran at this point, I actually know how to navigate the waters of infancy and toddlerhood.
Last night I had dinner at my sister’s house and got to hang out with two of my nieces. Spending the evening with them allows me to peer into my future when I’ll have to bribe Clara with dessert to get her to eat her vegetables. I’ll also get to sit down with Clara and put together a puzzle; at this point Clara would probably just put the pieces in her mouth. Hopefully I’ll also get to watch Pokémon with Clara like I did with my nieces.
My sister plays Pokémon Go, which has gotten my nieces interested in the world of pocket monsters. They like going on Pokéwalks and hitting up Pokéstops while my sister drives. I didn’t know that they enjoyed watching the show, though, until they insisted that I watch an episode with them before I left.
I like Pokémon.
I like my nieces.
It was a perfect match.
I love experiences like those with my nieces, but I definitely hope to have similar experiences with my daughter. I have no idea what Clara is going to be interested in, but if I want to be a good father then I’ll embrace the same interests. I hope Clara likes Star Wars and comic books, but she may love Disney Princesses and playing dress up. I can’t miss spending time with her because I’m trying to convince her to like what I like. I may have to put down the lightsaber and pick up the tiara if I want to hang out with my little girl.
Along with Pokémon, though, my nieces do love Star Wars. They saw The Force Awakens and immediately fell in love with Rey. So as long as Lucasfilm keeps creating strong female characters and if Marvel ever gets its act together, then Clara and I could have a lot in common.
If you’re a parent, how do you embrace your children’s interests?