Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day In Primary (Again)

Our ward Primary has long had a tradition of inviting several dads of Primary children to attend sharing time on Father's Day. The dad and the child (or children) are seated next to each other at the front of the room, much to the delight of the children whose fathers are in attendance; although, the fathers often seem uncomfortable.

Then the game begins. Each child is asked to give responses to questions about their dad. Primary presidency members have previously plied the dads for their responses so that no one can fudge. Each dad holds a stack of papers face down on his lap denoting his responses.

Being the father of five children I have had at least one child (and usually more) attending Primary for more than two decades, so I have participated in this Father's Day game every few years for a long time. Yesterday was the latest (and perhaps final) episode. In keeping with the game, I refused to give my daughter clues beforehand.

My daughter and I actually did better this time around. I have discovered that it does no good to be wishy-washy about things like my favorite color. I had a favorite color years ago, but not so much anymore. There are colors that I like. Lots of them. Why do I have to pick just one? But for my daughter's sake, I reverted to my childhood favorite color and she guessed right. I smiled when she got my eye color right this time. And my favorite Primary song (My Heavenly Father Loves Me).

One of the questions was mine. I knew immediately that my daughter would say that her favorite thing to do with me is to go on our monthly daddy-daughter date. I was right.

Years ago when our two oldest were small and I was busy working full time while also taking a full load of university courses, we instituted daddy-child dates so that each child could get some one-on-one time with dad. Sometimes we just run errands. Sometimes we have a picnic or go to a movie. But the child always gets some kind of treat. The funny thing is that each child that lives at home (even when they're 20-something) still looks forward to their turn to hang out with dad. I'm flattered.

I was disappointed that my daughter still had no clue as to my favorite dessert. Part of the reason for this may be that I have eaten fairly restrictive diets her whole life. I do indulge in various treats on occasion, but maybe this occurs rarely enough that she hasn't been able to formulate a basis for the correct answer. No, it's not cake and it's not pie (although I tend to like pie better than cake for some odd reason); it's forever and always ICE CREAM! At least my daughter didn't answer "cake" this year.

My daughter vaguely recalled that I had served my mission in Norway, after almost failing to answer the question at all. That surprised me, because it's not like her mother and I don't talk about our missions. Yeah, it's been a long time since either of us has been back to Norway (me) or Central America (her). But we do have a fair amount of trinkets from these places on display at home and I still read Norwegian content daily. It's not a secret.

In the end, all of the daddy-child teams performed about equally well yesterday. The scores didn't really matter anyway. It was fun and rewarding in non-competitive ways. After the game the Primary joined in singing the favorite Primary song of each dad that had played the game. (There were no duplicates this year.) It was a nice way to wrap up the event.

As I left the Primary room my daughter gave me a big hug and kissed me on the cheek. The look on her face said how proud she was of the two of us. No purchased Father's Day gift can ever come close to being as good as that.

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