If, at the end of your life, you could relive one special day – would a day with Dad be on your list?  By definition, a special day is a rare event.  Some happen accidentally and others can be planned.  Offered here; a challenge and some tips for you to plan a special day with each of your kids – one they will remember and cherish forever.

I still remember (after 50 years) my special day with Grandma.  She took me on a train to downtown Chicago.  We toured Marshall Fields department store and Grant Park.  While sitting on a park bench she was reminded of a story from her childhood in Scotland:  one day she and her mother were sitting on a bench by the wharf when someone nearby honked loudly into his handkerchief.   A gentleman, half asleep on the bench, suddenly jumped up; “Oh my, there’s my ship!”

Just Grandma and only me! I knew that if I ever had kids I would craft a special day with each one.  It’s not easy though.  The kids have school, Dad has his job and the weekends are crazy.  But as they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  Here are some ideas from the special day I spent with my daughter Sabrina:

  • Playing Hooky is the most fun.  Spending time together while everyone else is at school and at work makes the day all the more exciting. (weekends don’t count)
  • Half-hooky assuages potential guilt. On our day, I actually went into work for a couple of hours. (Even though we think ourselves indispensable, no one will miss you for a day or half a day.)  As for missing school, you can look at the school calendar and find a teacher conference day, teacher work day, or a holiday that only banks and schools take off.
  • Take the train or bus or anything besides your own car – at least for part of the day.
  • Go downtown.  The hustle and bustle of the big city is a very exciting place for a youngster.  She will be so impressed that you can confidently navigate this strange yet wonderful and scary place.
  • Lunch at a nice restaurant.  Show her executives having a business lunch.
  • Shop and buy some stuff.  A souvenir to remember the day and a few trinkets for poor Mom and brother who had to stay at home today.
  • Look forward to relating the day’s adventures to the others at dinner time.
  • Expose her to the seedier elements (homeless, areas of decay, etc.) for the educational value.
  • Sit on a park bench or outdoor café and observe the work-a-day world.  Notice the fast and focused pace, the business clothing, the throngs of people, the sounds and the smells of the city.
  • Tell a story or two.

Just one day? Why not once a year?  Alas, life moves along too fast for most of us. Perhaps you’ll do better.  As for me, at least I can look forward to grandkids.

Our Grand Outing: The most unforgettable day with Dad
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