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.