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Friday, September 13, 2013

Guest Post: The Little Things

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Dan Oakes was born in Liberty, Missouri, and was the seventh of nine children. His family moved to Mesa, Arizona, when he was 11 years old, where he eventually attended Mesa High School where he was Student Body President. Dan went on a mission to South Carolina. Upon his return he obtained his bachelors degree at ASU, and completed a masters degree in education and counseling from NAU. Dan is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is in private practice. Additionally he has been the Clinical Director of Youth Services for A New Leaf. Dan is committed to his wonderful wife Shannon, and their five children and has served as a Bishop twice. Dan loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and seeks to find balance in his service to his Father in Heaven and in his professional life.

Parenting for sure can be a thankless job at times. The real paydays come when we least expect them. The other day I agreed to go on a field trip with my daughter. I was excited to be with her but the bus ride was long and hot, then we had to walk a long way (not my favorite thing). I got to be in charge of about five kids including my daughter, so I didn't really get alone time with her, but the kids were well-behaved and they had fun. My daughter slept most the way home during the long hot bus ride back, but for the most part it was a good day.

After we got home she said to me, "Dad, this was the best day of my life."  Needless to say I was a little surprised at her comment. What I thought about saying was, "Honey, you just think that because you haven't had a lot of experiences in your life."  But, before that could come out of my mouth my eyes where watering as I looked into her face and realized that she was totally serious. I involuntarily fell to my knees to be at her level and hugged her from that deep hugging place in side of me ... (I had to pause as I typed this to wipe a tear that I got again as I recounted this event) and said, "Oh honey, I loved being with you too."  We hugged for a moment and then she ran off to play.

What had I done really. I was just there. That's all, I was just there. I am often not there, however, and most of the day-time stuff is up to Mom, so on this day when normally I wouldn't have been around ... I was, and it made all the difference to her. So remember, even if you plan and research all you parenting activities, it's the little things that matter.

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