Real quick: The last time you were with your kid, did you look at your phone? Sneakily check your email? Make a list of all the things you needed to get done that week? If you’re a normal parent with everyday responsibilities, the odds are you did. But, after you hear about the sweet note a father from Minnesota received after he put his phone away when out with his daughter, you may feel different.
As he did on most Sundays, David Rosenman took his 9-year-old daughter out to a local coffee shop. She brought a little crocheting activity with her, and he brought a notebook, pen and his phone, as he was ready to sit down and plan his week. According to Rosenman, it was set to be an outing like many others — but this time, things unfolded a little differently. Instead of digging into their respective activities, Rosenman’s daughter asked him if they could “just be together.”
In a lengthy Facebook post, Rosenman explains how, although he wasn’t planning on it, he did just that. He and his daughter talked about the day she was born; she showed him her yarn project; and they speculated about which couples in the restaurant were dating. They spent time with each other, and as Rosenman said, he “melted a little bit as he thought about how much [he] loved her.”
When Rosenman went to pay the check, he came back and found a note from a stranger who had left. Apparently, a schoolteacher was watching him interact with his daughter, and she was so touched, she felt compelled to leave a few words for him, reiterating the importance of spending time with your kids.
The note read: “I work at a school where many daughters don’t have fathers, and those who do never in their lives had him watch and listen and devote 100 percent of their time to her for as long as you did on one Sunday morning.You have no idea what a gift you are giving to all the teachers who are responsible for educating her from now until she graduates.”
Here’s Rosenman’s recount of what happened on Facebook:
If you read the lovely comments on some of the blogs about this story, some are speculating that this is a “hoax,” something to become Internet famous for five minutes. But, it’s hard to believe that’s the case. (Rosenman is a doctor, P.S.) And, you know what? Even if it is, who cares? It’s a good reminder — a necessary reminder — of how important it is to give our kids our undivided attention sometimes.
Being an adult comes with responsibilities, and it’s almost impossible to focus solely on our kids and be 100 percent “present” at all times. But, it’s a tragic thing to never be present and always be preoccupied. We’ve heard it a million times, but our kids are only little for so long. It’s something we don’t want to miss.
There’s a lot of pressure on moms and dads to be perfect these days. From Pinterest Star Moms to scientist dads who create amazing toys for their kids, it can sometimes feel so hard to keep up. But, the one thing we can all do — the one thing we should do — is let our kids know that we want to spend time with them and hear what they have to say.
So once in a while, put down your iPhones, stop taking photos and sending emails, and listen to your kid tell you about her yarn project. You won’t regret it.