Who’s Got YOUR Back, Dad?


Photo Credit: theloushe via Compfight cc

The late summer sun slants through the canopy of trees, but only a few rays make it to the ground. The winding path lay ahead in dancing shadows, as my family and I embark upon our hike. The trail is narrow, so we fall into single file. My wife leads, then the kids, and I bring up the rear.

We barely leave the main road before the mosquitos descend. Though we’re slathered in bug spray and think we’re prepared for the onslaught, the bugs are hungry and relentless and they begin to find chinks in our armor, especially on our backs.

My nine-year-old son, walking behind his mom, says, “Momma, I’ll watch your back,” as he smacks her between the shoulder blades.

My three-year-old daughter walks behind him, and she says, “Aidan, I’ll watch your back.” And then she looks at the trees. I’m thinking Aidan’s destined for a back full of mosquito bites.

My five-year-old son walks behind her, and he says, “Caitlin, I’ll watch your back.” He never does anything part way, and he begins swatting away at the aggressors like it’s his job. But then he stops and his head turns and he looks at me with concern and he says, “Daddy, who’s going to watch your back?”


I’m guest blogging today for Disney Dads on Babble.com, and you can read the rest of this post by clicking hereBabble is “a platform dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent and open conversation about parenting,” and it is supported by the Walt Disney Company. 


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Disclaimer: This post is not professional advice. It should be read as you would read a “self-help” book. For professional and customized advice, you should seek the services of a counselor, who can become more intimately familiar with your specific situation. Counselors can be located through your insurance network or through your state psychological association.

Kelly is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Artisan Clinical Associates in Naperville, IL. He is also a writer and blogs regularly about the redemption of our personal, relational, and communal lives. Kelly is married, has three children, and enjoys learning from them how to be a kid again. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.