Dads and Daughters Make a Good Team

Roger Sheppard Email

What’s the biggest adventure you and your daughter (or son) have ever been on?

When my daughter was small, we would go to a nearby nature preserve, pack a picnic and spend the day hiking, snacking, and exploring. That was a big adventure when she was five or six.

Later, she and I made a trip to New York together to attend the wedding of a friend of mine. We worked in a couple of Broadway shows as well.

Recently, I participated in the 23rd annual Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure (GOBA). It was my third straight year to do this event, which attracts about 2,400 bicyclists each year.

GOBA is a week-long trip through a different part of the Buckeye State each year. You camp out every night and bike about 50-60 miles each day.

My daughter is not into bicycling as much as I am, so she does not do GOBA with me.

But during the week, I saw lots of families doing the ride on bicycles built for three (or four!), or parents and their off-spring riding separate bikes. There were some parents with their grown children doing the trip, as well as parents with a teen-aged or college-aged son or daughter.

I got a chance to talk to some of these groups and found out how much they enjoyed the time together, away from a lot of the normal distractions of daily life.

I talked with one father and daughter whom I had seen on my two previous trips. She is a teenager. I told him how lucky he was that she was still interested in doing this event with him. He said “Yeah, but I think this will be her last year. She goes off to college next year and she’s a competitive cyclist, so she may not have the time next summer.”

I felt sad for him but I knew he realized how lucky he was to have been able to share such vast amounts of one-on-one time with her.

My daughter and I still get to spend a lot of time together, but we have to try hard to find and take advantage of those opportunities.

What do you do to carve out special time for you and your growing-up-too-fast children?

I’d like to hear from you!