Behind every good man is a great woman rolling her eyes. Regardless, many kids growing up believing their father is the smartest man in the world. Author Jay Payleitner thought his dad was a genius, and at Wrigley Field of all places.
“We live in Chicago and my dad took my brother and I at least a couple times a year to see a Cubs game,” says Payleitner, author of 52 Things Kids Need From A Dad. “Our souvenir was a cardboard scorecard and a sharpened pencil with the word Cubs on the side on the pencil.”
It was in the second or third inning of one game that Payleitner recalls his pencil lead breaking. “It was the tragedy beyond all tragedies!” says Payleitner. “There is no sharpener around, and I’m thinking, ‘What are you going to do?’” Payleitner says his dad took the pencil and, at just the right angle, sharpened it on the concrete bleachers and floor of Wrigley Field. A young Payleitner though his dad was a genius, not to mention his hero.
“Now, here is the point,” says Payleitner. “For a while, all dads are heroes, all dads are geniuses, all dads know things that they can give to their kids and do for their kids and we need to harvest that time and use our knowledge that is greater than theirs at the time.” One day, Payleitner says children will have problems much more difficult than a broken pencil lead. “We need our kids to come to us and look to us for answers.”
Payleitner is also the author of 52 Things to Pray for Your Kids and The Dad Book.