Being a parent is the most important job I'll ever have. It is full of fun, frustration, and occasionally deep satisfaction. Unlike my full-time job, there is never a day off from being a parent. You're always 'on'. It's a job I don't take likely. I want my kids to look back someday and remember me the way I remember how my dad was as a parent. Fair, understanding, and always there for me.

Being a father is a bit of a balancing act. At least that's how I approach it. I love being active and involved in their lives. I realize that when they get to be teenagers that will become a little more difficult. I'm already seeing that with Chase. At 13, he's not my 'little buddy' anymore. Sure, we still have those moments, but now I'm more focused on teaching him how to become the kind of man he needs to be. Instilling traits like responsibility, focus, drive, and compassion are at the top of my list. Don't be like me, be better than me.

My daughters are a little younger yet, so they let me play along a bit more. Carly is 9 going on 17 so it's almost like having another teenager in the house. Cayleigh is 8 and is all about having fun with dad. I don't ever turn down a chance to play with any of my kids. Someday they'll stop asking and I'm not yet ready for that. I have a special connection with each child about something different. Carly is my music kid. We listen to music together, talk about artists and watch music videos online. Cayleigh is my soccer player. We spend hours just kicking the ball around outside. Only darkness stops us. Chase is my gamer. We bonded over video games many years ago. Occasionally he'll still play a few with his old man.

The balancing act of being a father is being a figure that they love, but also respect. I want to be active in their lives. But I'm not just their friend. I'm their dad. That means that there still must be discipline, consequences, and the occasional punishment too. I don't want them to fear me. But I can't just be a buddy. That's not how parenting works. So on this Father's Day weekend, I salute all the dads out there doing their best at the balancing act of parenting. Be involved in your kid's lives. That's what they'll remember the most someday.

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