With Father’s Day quickly approaching, we wanted to find out how real Columbus dads are celebrating their holiday. After seeing their adventures around Easton and Columbus, we connected with the creator of Small Steps Are Giant Leaps, Aaron, to learn more about his plans for Father’s Day. Here’s what he had to say:
Small Steps Are Giant Leaps all started when I was riding the bus with my son. He was three years old and we had just recently moved. He wasn’t really enjoying when we would have to go out and do things, like running errands. What was a normal, everyday event to me had him completely transfixed. One day we were riding the bus to downtown Columbus and my son was so upset we had to get off at our stop—he didn’t quite understand that we would have to get back on to go home later on. At that point, it dawned on me. We weren’t in any rush, so why not keep riding the bus so he could experience this new adventure that he had never got to before? He’s an adventurer and this was a completely new world to him. When looking at things through his perspective, he is the first person who has taken these steps and done these things. As soon as I started looking at things the same way, it made our time together a lot more fun and it really helped me relate to him. We then threw an astronaut helmet into the mix and it blasted off from there.
We have visited Easton a lot over the last few years. Ever since he was one, we always find ourselves here—we have the map of Easton memorized. It’s been one of those spots that’s perfect to let my son run around and explore. While we’re at Easton, we always have to stop by every fountain—especially the Frog Fountain. We even park at the Fenlon Square Parking Garage just so we can pass it! It’s pretty much a standard for us to start our visit with a trip to Starbucks or Barnes & Noble for a cookie. We’ll then make our way to two of my son’s favorite places at Easton: LEGOLAND and The LEGO Store. We’ve been there 15 times since they’ve opened, and we just can’t explore it enough!
To me, it’s all about creating those experiences and exploring, so for Father’s Day, while I’d love a new watch from Shinola or a gift card to The LEGO Store, the most priceless gifts come in the form of spending time with my family. We will be spending the day participating in a couple of our Father’s Day traditions. We’ll start off with brunch at Flip Side—chicken and waffles are a must for Father’s Day! Then we’ll catch a movie at AMC—we’re super excited to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 because we’re actually in the process of getting our own dog! As a tradition, I always get the Father’s Day shirt that Homage releases every year. It’s my dress code and it simply isn’t Father’s Day without it!
What I’ve learned in my journey as a dad is how important it is to make the time with our children about them. We all have things we need to do and that’s fine, but during the time I set aside for my son I want to give him my full attention. I put my phone away and really try to think of things that he’ll enjoy doing. I watch how he interacts with the world and figure out how I can participate and enhance that. I think that’s the biggest thing—take the time to understand your kids’ interests, and really participate in those interests with them. Introduce them to your interests early on—sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Find what you have in common with each other and do those things together. That’s my favorite part about being a dad.