Each year, I participate as a first-round reader in an essay contest where kids write about their dads (or father figures). Most of these kids are from poorer neighborhoods, and are in first through fifth grade. This year I got a stack of papers from third-graders.
Here is a bit from one of the essays that I chose as a semi-finalist; it’s from a girl writing about her “ideal dad:”
…If I had a dad I will thank him for everything that he did like play with me and buy me stuff. I will buy him stuff too and make him laugh too. I will (be) just like my dad because he can be cool. He would help me with my homework and play soccer and games so he think(s) I’m cool too. I’d be just like him. We could give hugs and kisse(s) to each other. We could read scary stories.
Another semifinalist was from a boy who talked about the fun things he did with his dad, including how his dad comes in the room and changes the channel while he’s watching TV.
This is the sort of thing that helps you keep perspective– makes you think the stuff you’re dealing with every day really isn’t as important as it seems.