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    A Cloudy Day in Small Town

    By Glenn A. Hascall     

    I've never tried to be my children's friend. Maybe I'm old school, but I think my children probably already have enough friends, but they only get one dad and I should probably act like one.

    Recently I had all day with my son to do whatever we wanted. My wife and daughter ventured to Big City while my son and I enjoyed out day in Small Town.

    Well, that's not entirely true. We did venture over to Bigger City for groceries and breakfast, but we had lunch and supper together at home and we took care of details at Hascall's Hacienda.

    My son had the idea that we could venture over to "Tom's Convenience, Sub and Video Shop", however he didn't want to drive. My son had the brilliant notion he could ride his scooter while I walked.

    Well, since it was 'our day' we tramped up and down the hills of Small Town on the way to Tom's. My son found all the puddles to ride through and asked all kinds of really important questions especially meaningful to 7 year-olds.

    The candy aisle was perused with care and a bag of fruity goo was chosen above all others sugary snacks. We ventured back and continued our talk about cousins and friends and what he'd like to do when we got home.

    We were a couple blocks from home when my son said in sort of an off handed way, "Ya know, Dad, we're kinda like friends only you're my Dad, too."

    OK, to say I was moved would have been an understatement. I wasn't trying to be my son's friend, but somewhere along the way he catches moments when being around me is just where he wants to be and it's a place I'm happy to find him.

    In my own relationship with my dad there was a time when things moved from a father/son relationship to a peer relationship. It was so natural I can't even pinpoint when it happened.

    I am certain our children need parents first. It may be that one day our children will become very close friends, too. However, we should allow that to happen on its own, not force the issue. There will come a time when, in adolescence, our children may not view us as an ally. In those years they need a parent in the same way they have all their life. Let your child come to terms with your role as parent and then if they come to see you as a friend you have just one more reason to celebrate.

    Written by Glenn A. HascallRate this article:

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