From the first day he came into our class it seemed like he would follow me around. At story time he would always want to sit beside me. At craft time he always wanted me to help him. Once when I was helping someone else he tugged on my shirt sleeve and said “Mr. Dan aren’t you supposed to be helping me?” I tried to be patient with him, while not ignoring the rest of the class.

After class one day his mother was a little late. He was, of course, standing right beside me. He looked up at me and said “Mr. Dan, its o.k. if my mom doesn’t pick me up because I know that you will take me home and then I will have a Dad”.

I had a similiar experience helping in a room for three year olds. There was a little girl who would cling to me. She allways wanted me to be the one to help her and to sit with her. One day we were "having tea" at play time when she looked at me and said "Let's play pretend and I'll call you Daddy".

I know that I did not replace a Father in their lives, but I also know that they were starting to form opinions about what a Father should be like and what a Fathers love looked like. For a couple hours on Sunday morning they were looking at me, in their own ways they told me so. We should never underestimate our influences. Little eyes are watching what you do.

by Daniel Roth 2004

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