Tom: “Five minutes ago, she was sitting on my shoulders pointing at cows in Munger’s Field.”
Kate: “And then you blinked.”
Kate: “No more blinking.”
–Cheaper by the Dozen
Just like Tom, we all blink. We can’t help it. It’s a natural reflex. Even when we tell ourselves not to blink, we still do.
As my five children were growing up, I tried hard not to blink too much. I did my best to be intentional about spending quantity time with my children and seize every moment I could with them. But even though I kept my eyes wide open, time still seemed to accelerate exponentially.
When we blink, even for just a moment, here’s what happens…One moment your daughter is dancing on your feet in the kitchen, the next she is getting ready to dance with a boy at prom. One moment she is running to the door to hug you when you get home from work, the next she’s walking out the door to head to college. One moment you are planning her 6th birthday party, the next you are planning her wedding.
While I can’t slow down time, I can encourage you to make the most of the moments you do have with your daughter. Tell your daughter you want to make a bucket list with her. Ask her what she’d like to do. By coming up with a bucket list of things you’ll do with your daughter, you will be able to dream dreams and then pursue them together.
Here are some general ideas to get you started in making your own father-daughter bucket list:
Simple ideas that cost nothing or very little:
- Read a book together and talk about it
- Go camping
- Take a painting class
- Take her to get a manicure
- Browse in a bookstore
- Go on a picnic in the backyard
- Take dance lessons
- Go trap and skeet shooting
- Learn to ice-skate
- Go snorkeling
- Take her to a local sporting event of her choice
- Find some recipes and cook together
- Go watch the sunrise one day and the sunset the next
- Show her where you grew up and share your childhood memories
- Drive to the country, look at the night sky, and point out the constellations
- Roast marshmallows and make s’mores in the fireplace or a fire pit outside
- Serve an elderly neighbor, widow, or widower
- Make “Manna Bags” for the poor and hungry
- Pray together
Other ideas you can save up for:
- Take a road trip to Washington, D.C. to see our nation’s capital
- Go to a Broadway show
- Take a father/daughter shopping weekend
- Ride in a hot air balloon
- Take a missions trip to another country together
I hope these ideas will get you started with your list. In a comment below, please share things to add to this bucket list. It will give other fathers more ideas to help them to develop their own.