At the end of the 2011/12 school year my coworkers and I had lunch at my boss’ house. While we were hanging out in the yard, most of the male staff members started playing Baggo.
I didn’t know of this game until I moved to the Midwest, so if anyone’s curious I’ve made the name a link to the Wikipedia page. Basically, the game involves throwing bean bags through a hole in a piece of wood. There are two teams of two people each. One member of each team throws bags at one target, points are calculated, then the other two players throw them back at the other one. Thrown bags can affect other ones so everyone has to stand back until a round is done and everything is set.
Though my son wasn’t there, some of my coworkers have children and they were there. Two or three of the four guys playing were dads. There were about three children 4 years old and under walking amongst the game that their fathers were playing.
They were stepping in front of guys about to throw.
They were picking up bean bags before they were scored.
They were sitting and standing on the wood targets.
I thought they seemed like they really really wanted to get in on the game, like they were interested in it.
But then something interesting happened.
The game ended and the dads walked away, leaving the area completely clear for their children to rule impunity.
The field was theirs.
The dads left without indicating that the children needed to follow or clear the area for another team to play.
Without any further attention to the game each child followed his or her daddy.
It hit me, they weren’t “Baggo Kiddoes” at all.
They were “Daddies’ Kiddies” all along.
They weren’t really really interested in the game. They were interested in what their daddies were doing. They wanted to be with their Papas.
They wanted attention from their Fathers.
And they didn’t really think through a wise way to get it.
I wonder how much we do just that.
How often do we do disruptive things just to get The Father’s attention.
Maybe we don’t realize it. Maybe we think we’re really interested in whatever foolish thing we’re doing. Maybe we live our lives getting in the way and messing up the game because we think that’s what we need to do for The Father’s attention.
We think we need to do things for The Father’s attention.
But we don’t.
Those kids didn’t need to do things for their dads’ attention.
But they thought they did.
Maybe we don’t think through the wisest ways to get our Father’s attention.
Maybe it’s time to just stop messing with silly games.
And follow our Daddy.