This is the first Medium piece I’ve read — a beautiful introduction to the site!
Makes me wistful at the same time as very glad. I so wanted this for my sons. There’s such a big difference between being a father (biologically), and hands-on fathering.
But it’s wonderful to see (in the comments) others going ahead and taking the same “risks”, inspired by your article, Stefen. The more parent-child connection in the world, the better the world will become, one person at a time.
And they aren’t really risks. Without seeing any near misses, children don’t develop a sense of what is dangerous, nor a feeling of being able to cope in a crisis. Being around while adults manage dangers of all kinds (from cliff edges to stranger danger) lets them grow up with both confidence and realistic caution, balanced. That’s a bit like fitting in around the adults’ world, I suppose… as long as attention is paid to how they’re dealing with what’s going on. :)
I say “parent” because in many families neither parent has ever spent real, deep, extended time with their little ones. That’s a far greater risk than having them fall off a seat or cut their finger on something. Well done being such a part of your daughter’s life.