Dear Mr. Man…

April 17, 2009

Fatherhood Friday: Teach A Man To Fish

Filed under: Fatherhood Fridays — P. J. Easter @ 8:28 am
Tags: , , , , ,


This past weekend while I was downloading music, blogging, checking Facebook statuses, and “tweeting” doing some very important work for the good of mankind, J.C. looked particularly bored. As I looked out of the window in my study, I see The Boy going from house to house to see if any of his friends were home. Alas, they were not. I felt bad for The Boy, so Istopped downloading music, blogging,fatherhood-friday-logo2 checking Facebook statuses, and “tweeting” the important work that I was doing and took him for a bike ride. The rain had passed and it

was a beautiful Houston day in the springtime (meaning 80 degrees, sunny, and 41% humidity) as we began our trek through the neighborhood.  

We had ridden a couple of miles or so when he asked if we could go to the park. I thought that was a good idea because earlier he mentioned that his brakes were a little loose. When we arrive, he jumps off of his bike and runs to the playground and I began to adjust his brakes. Shortly thereafter a little boy around 5-years old shows up with his dad. As the other dad and I give each other the obligatory head nod, J.C. and the little boy begin to play.

A few minutes go by and I see the boys go over to the swings. J.C. helps the younger boy onto a swing and begins to instruct him on the proper way to achieve maximum altitude and velocity on the swing set. “First, you use your legs to push off on the ground”, J.C. explains. “Then you kick your legs forward as you go forward and back when you go backwards”. He completed his instruction and went to a swing of his own.

Shortly, the little boy began to lose altitude while my son was in full swing (pun intended). The little boy calls out to my son and says, “Hey. Come push me again.” My son tells him to wait just a second because he was enjoying his hang time. The boy (not to be confused with “The Boy”) tells J.C., “You don’t need to swing. I just want you to push me”.

I wanted to tell little Mr. Bossman that my boy doesn’t work for him, but instead I wanted to see how J.C. handled it. J.C. jumped off the swing in mid-air which evoked an “Awesome” from the younger boy and went over to push. I was astonished that J.C. would just submit to the dictatorial will of a 5-year old. Then he made me proud…

He began to push the boy again, only he began to repeat his instruction. “Okay, I’ll help. But I am gonna show you again so that you will know how to do it yourself…”

Teach a man to fish? In this case, “Teach a man to swing”. Hmmm. Maybe he is listening to me.

Man up.

Mr. Man


  1. Nice. If only the government would adopt this mindset we’d be all set. Can we send your boy to Washington?

    Comment by Daddy Files — April 17, 2009 @ 8:45 am | Reply

  2. Cool post. My little one is still not too interactive but I am looking forward to days like this.

    Comment by New Dad Blog — April 17, 2009 @ 8:57 am | Reply

  3. I can’t wait for the day that my youngest learns to swing on his own.

    Comment by Jason — April 17, 2009 @ 9:19 am | Reply

  4. Man up indeed. Good Going!


    Comment by BellaDaddy — April 17, 2009 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  5. Nice. Lovely story, I hope my kids teach that well.

    Comment by MrPhil — April 17, 2009 @ 10:26 am | Reply

  6. Way to go J.C. Swinging will be fun when we get to that stage.

    Comment by Otter Thomas — April 17, 2009 @ 12:24 pm | Reply

  7. Great post. You tought him well! Happy FF. Check out my FF post at

    Comment by Rob — April 17, 2009 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  8. Mr.Man…I would say that he definitely IS listening to you. Good work my friend!

    Comment by creativeDad — April 17, 2009 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

  9. Very nice. Very refreshing story. What’s wrong with us adults, content to nod at one another when our kids show us how we should truly be. Great post!

    Comment by howefitz — April 17, 2009 @ 11:59 pm | Reply

    • @howefitz. Very astute observation. Somewhere in the “growing up” process, we lose our ability meet one second and play with each other the next. Why is that?

      Comment by Mr. Man — April 18, 2009 @ 12:14 am | Reply

  10. Great post! The world would be a lot better if, from the top down, we taught people how and encouraged them to help andthemselves. Love the picture.

    Comment by Busy-Dad-E — April 19, 2009 @ 6:12 am | Reply

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