The joy of fatherhood: Helpful tips for fathers and men who want to become fathers
by Morris Turner
Whether it’s raining or sunny, warm or cold, the sun comes up and goes down with or without our approval. No day should go wasted, especially when there are so many exciting ways to spend time with your child or children.
I know I preach a lot about our children only being “this age” once and to take every opportunity possible to share it with them. But as anyone with grown children will tell you, those “growing up years” fly by, and before you know it, that soft cheek you were hugging and kissing – seems like only yesterday – now has a grizzly beard. At least in the case of my two beautiful sons.
As a way of encouraging this time together, I thought I’d provide a brief list of some activities and resources that you might want to check out. They are all free “for children,” but if you’re able, always make a donation to these types of organizations that work so hard preserving the planet and healthy environments for our children.
No day should go wasted, especially when there are so many exciting ways to spend time with your child or children.
Always remember that if our children can see it, there’s a better chance that they can achieve it. When we expand their world, we expand our own – and the entire community benefits.
* The Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way at Roosevelt Way, (415) 554-9600, Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Meet the Animals talk and Model Railroad Exhibit
* San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, 499 Jefferson St., Hyde Street Pier: Tour the historic ship Balclutha and discover the hardships and rewards Black and white sailors experienced during the treacherous Cape Horn passage. Visitors 15 years and younger are FREE; all others $5. Please call for exact hours and days of the week: 415-447-5000.
* Cartoon Art Museum, 655 Mission St., 415-227-8666
* African American Historical and Cultural Society, 762 Fulton St., 415-292-6172
* The Chinese Historical Society of America, 965 Clay St., 415-391-1188, ext. 101
* SF Botanical Gardens, 1199 Ninth Ave. at Lincoln Way, 415-661-1316
* Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., 510-465-8770
* Barrier Free Playground-Roberts Regional Park, 10570 Skyline Blvd., 888-327-2757, option 3, ext.4555: Wheelchair accessible and low impact play areas catering to children with various abilities and disabilities
* Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA), 1625 Clay St., 510-465-8770
* The African American Museum and Library, 659 14th St., 510-637-0200
* Bay Area Discovery Museum, 557 McReynolds Rd., 415-753-7080
* Marine Mammal Center, 2000 Bunker Rd. (heading south on 101, it’s just up the hill to the right before entering the Golden Gate Bridge)
* Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory, 310 Cypress St., Petaluma, Calif.: FREE tours, 800-429-4549. “Oldest and largest” sticker factory in the United States
* Hallberg Butterfly Gardens, Graton, Calif.: Guided tours by appointment only April 1 through Oct. 31. Call for directions 707-823-3420.
* Warm Springs Dam and Fish Hatchery, 3333 Skaggs Springs Rd., Geyserville, Calif., 707-431-4533: History and culture of the Dry Creek area and the Pomo Indians who lived there
If you have any other favorite places to visit, please forward them to me so that I may share them in a future article.
All fathers are encouraged to submit photos of themselves and their children for possible publication in future articles. Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, the names of your children as you would like them to appear and the location where the picture was taken, if you would like that included.
Morris Turner is the father of two sons, ages 39 and 35. Over the past 45 years he has worked with children and young people in a variety of settings, including as preschool teacher, career counselor, family mentor and sports coach. He is also an author and recognized researcher in the area of African American settlement in the United States, but his greatest pleasure today is learning to be a good grandpa. He can be reached at email@example.com or by calling (707) 794-0729.