Dad Is The World’s Greatest _______

I participated in the Procter & Gamble World’s Greatest Dad campaign, but did it a bit backwards: I was supposed to write about the #WorldsGreatest hashtag twitter campaign first, then write about the challenges parents face with children soaking happily in social media and the Internet. Me? I don’t follow rules so well, and instead wrote about online safety first, as faithful readers know. In fact, here’s the article: The Challenges of a Modern Day Dad.

The good news is that it’s given me time to let the campaign run its course and go through the fun of seeing all the terrific #WorldsGreatest posts, handily collected on a Pinterest board called Dad is the #WorldsGreatest.  My exercise: find those out of the list that my kids have said to me, either explicitly “you’re the world’s greatest” or by me just knowing what they value in our relationship.

As I do this, I’m on a college road trip with my 16yo daughter A-, and she’s sitting adjacent to me here at a Starbucks in SoCal, playing a game (Clash of Clans) on my iPad. Life could be worse, for sure.

But she’s an easy sounding board, so… here are the ones that jumped out as descriptive of the relationship my kids and I have. Think of them as the equivalent of FourSquare badges:

worlds greatest storyteller

Am I a good storyteller? Do I need to ask you, faithful reader? You can only imagine the stories I’ve spun out of thin air and my imagination as my children have grown up, stories that started with a long-running serial story I told Linda when we started courting. We’d lay in bed and I’d weave things out of nothing, ideas hanging in the air, a cloud of dreams floating above us.

My youngest adores my stories and always votes for some odd, quirky tale over books, singing, or anything else. I’ve told stories about potato bugs, flies, bunnies, unicorns that hate school, and anything else that seems to resonate with what’s going on in our lives at the time or, more importantly, their life at the time. “You should write them down” but, as all storytellers know, it’s the audience, the story’s world, that makes a story come alive. Writing them down would take away the magic.

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Again, anyone who spends more than 10 minutes with me knows that I love puns, word play and dumb jokes. Occasionally they’re a home run and people smile and tell me how witty I am. Mostly, though, they groan. But that’s what corny jokes are all about, right? The pain, the… well, yeah, the pain. 🙂

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I don’t feel like I’m a great builder and handyman, I prefer to outsource complex jobs around the house. But when something breaks, when something’s not working right, the kids bring it to me to take care of, to fix, to contact the company and get a replacement. Most recently, a Christmas nutcracker whose head had popped off. An easy glue fix, but it’s the attention to detail that makes me a good fixer-upper. Things just get done.

Fun stuff. And here’s what’s interesting: If I had to identify #WorldsGreatest for my own dad, I’d also pick “corny joke teller” and “fixer-upper”, though he was a bit too busy to tell me stories when we were growing up.

Must be a Taylor thing…

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