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A few evenings ago, my wife & I were out in our living room, enjoying some music and reading time when our peace was interrupted by our daughter, who walked in with tears streaming down her face and one of her dolls in her hands.
“It is ruined! They are going to take her head off to fix it!”
Eva (the doll) had hair going in every direction and not in a fashionable way. Now, being “folically challenged” myself, I had no idea what had happened or how the crisis could be solved. For that matter, the last time I had hair over 2 inches long was back in high school, when I was sporting the ever so fashionable MacGyver mullet. But while I had very little idea what was going on, or even why my daughter was so distraught over a doll we got her a few years ago, her little heart was breaking.
Luckily, her mommy was there to step in and to rescue the situation or my solution probably would have ended up with Eva looking more like a bowling ball than a mini-model. As I watched my wife step in and look at the doll's hair, I overheard what she told Abbie. “Her hair gets this way because you don't care of it on a regular basis. You need to comb her hair often or her hair will get tangled and ruined.” Oh how the world of the American Girl can be so confusing and complicated.
But as I sat across the room, watching the soap opera unfold and then be resolved, it hit me... my kids are like Eva's hair.
Too many times, I get so caught up in the busyness of life, being a good manager, a good employee, a good husband, a good father, a good son, etc. I am so busy that I quickly turn my life into a checklist of things that I need to complete and soon my kids what is left. Not that I don't spend any time with them, but how many times have I done the “father” things like directing them to do homework, clean their rooms, get ready for bed and such? But do I brush their hair regularly? No, not literally, but in what hair combing can mean to a little girl - love.
Do I regularly spend time with my kiddos doing the little things that they love? Yes, like combing a little doll's hair, it is time consuming and not very fun, but like that doll's hair, I could have a tangled mess later if I don't. How many of my classmates from high school can I think of that barely had relationships with their fathers because they were too busy with work and such and only threw money at their kids, instead of spending time with them?
I want to brush my precious doll's hair more often. I want to spend more time listening to silly stories from school, or building LEGO sets, and less time watching the game while my kids waste these years playing video games.
How about you? Do you have some hair to comb? I would love to hear how you spend “hair combing” time with your kids!
I might even steal a few of your ideas too.
Brian Kuiper is a contributing writer for Dad Matters and the Assistant Manager of Audio Visual Services at Focus on the Family.
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