May 21, 2018
July 16, 2018

One afternoon it began to rain and mom was in the kitchen. The kids, (our kids) automatically packed up their games and ran inside. To their amazement I asked why they were coming inside. Naturally they responded,“Because it’s raining”. I told them that it was only water and I assured them that they wouldn’t melt if they played in the rain. This was met with astonishment and big eyes, just like my wife on our wedding night.

“But mom will shout at us!” said one of them. “Yes, and we will get into trouble!” said another, and the third just looked at me in total astonishment. “I’ll
 take care of your mother”  I said, “Would you like to run and play in the rain?”  There was a slight hesitancy in their enthusiasm until I opened the door and stepped out into, I must admit, a slight drizzle. Just like the very caring mother, that she is, Samantha (mom) – appeared out of the ether like only mothers can when her ducklings are in danger. “No, they are going to get sick and ruin their clothes, and besides there’s lightning”. She had me on the lightning thing so I made them a promise that the next time it rained without lightning we would all go and play in the rain.

Fast forward 2 weeks. I’m sitting warmly in my lounge, with a nice hot cup of coffee, watching the game. It’s pouring with rain outside. My son runs in and reminds me of my promise. What’s the last thing that I feel like doing right now? But a deal is a deal, a promise is a promise, and there is no lightning this time! I opened the door and the 4 of us charge into the rain like a politician into a tender we danced in the rain 03

We did the rain dance, we sang, we rolled and jumped in puddles, we danced, we played, and then we jumped into the pool. We swam in the rain until our fingers turned crinkly and Madison’s lips turned blue. Mom thought we were mad at first but then, knowing me, she took out the camera and created a memory of the event. Afterwards, the hot shower, the feeling of putting on warm clothes, the hot chocolate and all four of us snuggling on the couch, was the best feeling in the we danced in the rain 04

Funny thing – kids remember what you did with them, and hardly ever remember what you bought them or what it cost.

Love is an ACTION; every time we “DO” we demonstrate our love.

I created an “I Did It with My Dad!” list on behalf of my children. Whenever anyone meets my kids and asked where they learnt that skill or who took them to a place I want them to always be able to say … “with my Dad!”

Some of the things already ticked off on the list include, I went fishing with my dad, I danced in the rain with my dad, I played soccer with my dad, I shot hoops with my dad, I wrestled with my dad, I saw the new Twilight movie (the midnight show) with my dad, I went to the theatre with my dad, I went to London with my dad, I went on a wet bike with my dad, I went to work with my dad, I surprised my mom with my dad, I visited a pie making factory with my dad, I rode bikes with my dad, I played Wii with my dad (and I won – he could never beat me), I said prayers with my dad, I climbed on the roof and watched the stars with my dad, I visited an orphanage with my dad, I learned to drive a car with my dad, I went on a road trip with my dad, I swam in the sea with my dad, I baked a cake with my dad, I played cricket, netball, basketball, rugby, Uno, cards, poker, monopoly, … with my dad.

It’s Father’s Day this month. I believe it should be called Daddy’s Day! I honestly feel that any man can be a father; it doesn’t take much skill, but it takes a Real Man to be a Daddy!

Its quite simple – Real Dads are supposed to be the rock of the family. Children (and to a certain extent women), look to Dads for strength; support; love; protection; guidance and fun – yes, fun!





Last year I wrote about my Dad. If you are blessed enough to still have your dad around, give him a hug for all of us who have lost ours. This year I want to remind you to be a Daddy and not a father.


Dads spend the time, and they make the time, because Dads know that women and childrenso we danced in the rain 02 spell the word love, T.I.M.E. If you spend the time, they will feel the love. I never really have to address the issue of mommies, because we have so many good ones around. It’s because of them that this entire world isn’t hell on earth. But we need more Daddies. So, Mom’s – if you have a real Daddy in your life, not yours but one sharing your life with your kids, and not just a biological seed depositor – count yourself extremely lucky! Just ask any Mom doing it on her own because of a dead beat sperm donor that left her alone and in debt, how lucky you are.

  • Daddies support and love their family without conditions.
  • Daddies place their families first.
  • Daddies keep their promises.
  • Daddies are firm when they need to be, they give guidance when they should, but they know when to discipline.
  • Daddies know that a child without discipline is lost and will battle in life.
  • Daddies set the moral compass and lead by example.
  • Daddies create an environment of trust and openness, honesty and fun.

Maybe, just maybe you might want to start an “I Did It with My Dad” list on behalf of your children, and start filling it. The good news is it never gets finished.

Ladies, send this to a whole bunch of men in your life.

Happy Dads Day for Sunday

Daddy Bear (Gav)

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  1. Pete says:

    Great one Gav !! Inspiring – no more overtime hours ?

  2. Belinda Cooke-Tonnesen says:

    Thanks for sharing. Loved that.I’m proud to state that my husband did similar when our kids were growing up and he still does now albeit more age appropriate
    Thank you ?

  3. Dave says:

    Great stuff Gav – thanks for sharing – touching

  4. Trish Idensohn says:

    The Dad List – such an awesome idea – what a better place the world would be! Well done Gav on sharing your Daddy Bear experiences too.
    Have a lovely day and especially Daddy Day on Sunday.

  5. Dylan says:

    Brilliant ! Congrats

  6. Cheryl K says:

    Absolutely loved your Dad story Gavin

  7. lawrence govender says:

    Great Ideas for the younger generation, when I was young we had no tv or cell phones
    but we had great fun with our family and neighbours playing soccer, fishing in the river, planting vegetables
    I received a message of a young boy who wants to be a smart phone because his parents spend more time with the phone than with him

  8. Joey says:

    J’Mo: I love the memories you created and admire your goal, “I did it with my Dad”, I have adopted the goal, thanks for inspiring me

  9. Lalita says:

    Great inspiration Gav, there is no compromise for being a good dad.

  10. robert says:

    very inspirational. Thank you young man

  11. Chris says:

    Well Gav, fantastic mate

  12. Joan Mollagrean says:

    What a awesome Dad …

  13. Michelle Louw-Mokgalaka says:

    Thanks for sharing:)
    Happy Daddy’s day for Sunday

  14. Zesta says:

    Dankie dankie ! Amazing

  15. Ray Whitmore says:

    Hi Gav
    Thanks for great message happy DADS day
    Best regards

  16. FRANCINA says:


  17. richard says:

    very nice piece and true words

  18. Brian says:

    Brilliant, thanks for sharing

  19. Ravi Naidu says:


  20. Patrick T says:

    Hi Gavin

    Great story “in the rain”. Being a good Dad is often challenging and one is constantly balancing ones work responsibilities with family time. We often forget how important doing things with our kids is to them. Its amazing how easily we get stuck in our routines and no longer go the extra mile.

    Thanks for reminding me to do things with my kids while I still can.

    Kind Regards


  21. Ross says:

    Happy Father’s day Gavin….

    And thank you for sharing your special moments :-)

    Best regards,


  22. Adele says:

    Such powerful stuff. I enjoyed reading this.

  23. Tamara Latchmigadu says:

    Nice one Gavin?

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I so wish my husband was still alive to share this with. He was a dad.

  25. B Bain says:

    As a pre school teacher I wish all our Dads ( and our mother hens ) would read this.

  26. Grace says:

    My Dad is almost 84 this year, but the memories of our childhood and the fun times we had with him are what still bind his 5 children together. And the best memories are those that didn’t cost a cent. We never doubted, for one moment, his unconditional love.
    And by the way, playing in the rain seldom makes you sick.

  27. Karen Williams says:

    Dear Gavin

    What an inspirational story and so true. We have so many men who are so proud to call themselves Fathers but unfortunately are not Daddies.
    I am so grateful and blessed to still have my 85 year old Daddy around.

    Have an awesome Daddy’s Day on Sunday!!

  28. Buhlebenkosi Gangapatla says:

    Very touching in tears if my kids could have such a daddy.

  29. Buhlebenkosi Gangapatla says:

    Very inspirational wish my dad was still alive.

  30. Mpho says:

    Nice one…

    Have a happy fathers day!!!

  31. Amelia Sequeira says:

    Great story Gavin! Happy Father’s day!

  32. Bruce Wright says:

    Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there , continue to leave special moments to cherish for ever.

    All the best

  33. Rakesh says:

    Great message Gavin!

  34. Chops Huysamen says:

    Hi Gavin love your rain experience. My kids are 36 and 38 and I am still their Daddy. I now have a grandson of 7 months and the joy of my life. Yes being a Dad is the most awesome feeling, especially if you have ticked most of the boxes.
    have a stunning Fathers day.

  35. Dideka Sofute says:

    Beautiful… simply beautiful Gavin. Happy Dad’s Day to you.

  36. Kathryn Rinquest says:

    Love receiving your news! And especially loved this article you wrote about playing with your kids in the rain… Just awesome!

    Keep it up, Gavin you are truly an inspiration and I hope to visit another seminar again.. Hopefully in cpt this time :)

  37. Denise Easton says:

    Gavin, this was beautiful – on one hand, it made me very sad because I did very few if any, of these things with my Dad. But on the other hand, it made me very proud of my children who have made wonderful Parents to their children. I would love to share this – is there any way you would give permission for me to share it with my friends on Facebook please?

    • Sharples says:

      Thanks Denise ! Share away with pleasure – the social media links are above.

      Thanks to everybody for taking the time to respond. Love to see all the comments.


  38. Portia says:

    Dear Gavin

    Wow, the love of a Dad. At times I feel like Daddy is spoiling our boy too much. But now I learnt that they are actually creating memories. As I read through your story, it reminded me of the moments my husband and son wanted me to spectate them as they rode on their bicycles on the street and when they played wrestling, oh boy, how can i forget the car racing on the phone while I also wanted to get a piece of his attention. :) You just inspired me to treasure and keep a memory book for the two, Gavin.

    Thank you and Happy Father’s Day to All the Fathers, who puts love and time before Money.

  39. Dezzi Van Schalkwyk says:

    S T U N N I N G!!!

  40. Ollie says:

    Being a true Dad keeps you young and gives you direction – nothing better.

  41. Marianne Hendrikse says:

    So true Gavin! I remember a lot of things we did with my Dad! OK well, we were privileged to grow up on a farm so the environment was much different to city life and we had a lot of family time together.

  42. Natasha says:

    Wow – I love it!!! You are such a great dad Gavin!!!
    I’m sharing this with my hubby right now :-)

  43. Kingdom Mlotshwa says:

    inspired to be the greatest Dad, thanks Gavin this.

  44. Layla Gibbons says:

    Thank you are the inspiration, absolutely enjoyed your story . Life is about the memories / legacy we create

  45. Godfrey Mokalake says:

    I think we have to teach our children to work at our homes n watch them working, not to let them go out and work. Coz they’ll be confused outside n not knowing what they r doing

  46. Elmarie JVR says:

    I really wish my kids could have this. Thanks Gavin really means a lot to me.

  47. Daniel Mouton says:

    Best father’s day email ever – thanks Gavin
    I can so relate with 4 boys & 1 princess

    Have a great father’s day on Sunday

  48. Stephanie Clark says:

    Your story is so precious and such a wonderful idea.

    The kids and I have started putting together a list for our precious daddy and we have already exceeded two typed pages and could keep going,

    reminding us all how very blessed we are to have such an amazing hubby and dad in our lives!

    Thank you for such a great thought inspiring newsletter!

    Kind Regards

    Stephanie Clark

  49. mandla says:

    wow… that was lovely!

  50. Ray says:

    Dear Gav

    As a Granddad as I thoroughly enjoyed “DAD`S LIST”.



  51. Ursula Diale-Ali says:

    Here I am reading this way after “daddy’s day”, but I’m in no position to feel embarrassed by my lateness, as this is such a great read, filled with truth and worth every second I spent scrolling down.

    Absolutely beautiful!

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