Happy New Year to All Dads, Moms and Kids!
- on December 31, 2012
The April 2012 Pez Gathering in Orange, CT
Dads and Kids
When I found this article and video, I immediately had to save it on my computer. What is even more significant is that Emio Tomeoni, 30, is from Kansas City, MO. I would love to meet him, and I would very much like for you to watch the video in the article below.
I was so surprised when I first read this article. This is what I used to do years ago with my favorite child. I was in Sebastopol, a little ways from San Francisco, having coffee in my favorite coffeehouse. Suddenly his parents came in. He immediately came over to where I was having coffee. I had never seen him before, or his parents - and he insisted on sitting with me. His parents came over too, and they introduced themselves (I think he was three or four at the time) and from that moment, we all became the best of friends for many years.
Now he is going to medical school, and I am still close to his parents.
But what struck me most was, while his parents were sitting in chairs visiting with friends, I was on the floor playing with him. Before long, his whole room was filled with toys - on the floor, everywhere, and no one cared - including his mom.
It was from this experience, which repeated itself many times during this and many years that followed, that - when I saw the video above and article, I immediately related it to myself and my own experiences. Play and learning were everything between us, not just keeping things "nice".
As he became older, we went from toys to bicycles, then to writing and to basketball played in a corner lot. Over and over again, I came to see that what was important was playing and learning with your child, not leaving him or her in front of the television or sitting by themselves with nothing to do.
And speaking of which, take a look at the article in the Journal-World about pez, and a Dad's gift to his child for Christmas of his pez collection.
If you look at the very corner of Nick Krug's photograph, there is the son with a huge smile on his face. It's an amazing picture, much different than if it were taken with just the Pez containers itself. Because the son is in the picture in such a special way, in my opinion this is one of the great pictures of 2012!
What it speaks about is giving a child something that's been important to you, which really makes him happy. What you give needn't cost a lot of money. In fact, poor folks often give more to their children, because their experience is what they have to give.
The same is true of the time you spend playing with your kids. This can never be replaced by any type of merchandise, or TV watching. When the person I knew was young, I read books to him. Later on, he read his assignments for school to me.
It's about happiness - a healthy body and mind - and energy and health for the new year, both for you and your children!
I have two good friends now who also take the time to be with their sons and daughters. One close friend makes wooden toys that he can give to his children. Both friends play soccer, and sometimes the kids also play. What their kids eventually learn from their dads, they will later give this gift to others.
For other dads who do this, I congratulate you for the New Year. And for Dads who aren't quite up to it to yet, now is the time to delve right in, get on the floor, and play with your kid. Don't worry about cleaning all the toys up - play and enjoy yourself. You can be sure that your kid will do the same. Kids will forever appreciate this kind of gift, and the gift of playing and learning from others.