What Makes You Sad, Daddy?

Chris Ames —  June 28, 2013 — 12 Comments

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I’ve been taking my kids to coffee, one child per week, for the past three months. At the time of writing Sydney is 8, Savannah is 5, and Elliot is 3 years old.

The point of this exercise is to enjoy each others company, one-on-one, and nothing more.

But there have been… unexpected benefits.

This week was Elliot’s turn. He started asking on Monday if it was “coffee day” and asked right up until Thursday (which is coffee day). When I woke him up that morning, he opened his eyes and smiled immediately. He had been expectant and hopeful all week, and he knew this was his day.

Routine Questions

There are some questions that float in and out of the routine. “What’s your favorite show on Netflix?” or “Has Mommy been being a good girl while I’m at work?” I just want him to feel like I’m interested in his world.

But there are 2 questions that I’ve gotten into the habit of asking and I don’t intend to stop. “What makes your heart happy?” and “What makes your heart sad?”

This week Elliot answered that he was sad when he had to take a nap and he was happy when he went to the pool. I tried to empathize, while secretly coveting his daily naps.

But Then The Tables Turned

Once he was done answering, he took another bite of his muffin, and then he asked me my own questions. He started with, “Daddy, what makes you sad?”

My brain frantically searched for the right answer, I mean… he’s 3 years old! Finally I said to him, “Elliot, I get sad when I have to go to work and I can’t stay home with my family.” Of course he followed it up with, “Daddy, what makes you happy?” and I was able to tell him, “Reading you stories makes makes me happy!”

It’s Working

This weekly coffee thing was sort of a pain to get started, and I have had to turn down a lot of great opportunities that popped up all of a sudden on Thursday mornings. But the fact remains that it’s working.

Just another small victory on my quest to become the man I should have been all along.

Chris Ames


I am an Internet citizen, sarcasm enthusiast, and digital practitioner. I am married to the lovely Dewdette and we have 3 children: The Artist, The Smiling One, and Boy.

12 responses to What Makes You Sad, Daddy?

  1. Very proud of you. You do an awesome job at being Daddy.

  2. Great tip bro. Keep it up.

  3. That is so cool man! I try to keep reminding myself that my 4 year old son will only be 4 once, and I should take advantage of the time we have together.

    This is a great reminder that the bond between a man and his children should never be put on the back burner. Good stuff Chris

  4. What an awesome tradition you’ve started. I think the benefits far out-weigh the opportunity lost.

  5. Motion seconded. You’re a great dad.

  6. Agree with your post 100%. I used to take my 2 daughters once a week to the sweet shop for treats, then as they grew older, like yourself, it became weekly visits to the coffee shop. My girls are now 18 and 21 and we still go regularly for trips to the coffee shop! Precious times indeed!

  7. Stealing this idea. Keep it up, Dewde.

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