A Family Reminder for a Father

It had been a wonderful three days of vacation with my family. We had biked, hiked, and relaxed at the edge of the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. And although it isn't always easy to be with your family for twenty four hours a day (especially for an introvert!), it was filled with memorable moments.

Dusk was rapidly approaching on our last night at the lodge. On this warm and windy evening, my wife and kids were out watching the surf, and I was in the lodge. As I tried to figure out my next move, I noticed the Minnesota Twins baseball game on the TV. I sat down and began to watch, feeling my interest in the "real world" drift away. As the inning finished, I felt a strong urge to join my family. I got up and headed straight out to the water, and found them huddled on a large rock.

We huddled closer when I arrived, and my kids told me about what I'd been missing. We sat there until darkness arrived, watching the incredible show of waves crashing against the rocks. Nobody was rushed, there were no emails to send, no phones to answer, and no games to speed off to. We were just there with each other enjoying the moment, and enjoying this amazing display from Mother Nature. It was so very simple, and it was all we really needed.

As I sat there with my daughter in my lap, I gave thanks for the many blessings in my life. Among those blessings was being reminded of how simple and powerful these moments are, and how important it is to keep them alive. To live an intentional family life today is a radical act. In a country in which family meals together have declined 33% over the past 3 decades, and children have doubled their time spent in sporting activities, these kinds of moments cannot be missed. Moments like these remind us that we are put on this earth to give and receive love. And when we make time to do this, much of it will rub off on our children.

As we slowly made our way back to the lodge, I had a momentary urge to check in with the Twins game. My son jumped on my back and yelled, "Let me ride you up to the room, Dad!"

I noticed in the next morning's paper that the Twins had won the game. And while I was happy they won, I knew something more important had happened for me the night before. I had been reminded of the importance of choosing to connect with my family.

No more important choice exists for any of us.

© 2007 Mark Brandenburg

Other Father Issues, Books, Resources

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To this day I can remember my father's voice, singing over me in the stillness of the night. - Carl G. Jung

Mark has a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has been a counselor, business consultant, sports counselor, and a certified life and business coach. He has worked with individuals, teams, and businesses to improve their performance for over 20 years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was a world-ranked professional tennis player and has coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to balance their lives and to improve the important relationships in their lives. He is the author of the popular e-books, 25 Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent Fathers , and Fix Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself at the Same Time ). Mark is also the publisher of the “Dads Don’t Fix your Kids” ezine for fathers. To sign up, go to or E-Mail

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