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  • 06.18.07

Work/Life: What My Father’s Day Was Like

Those of us who wrestle with work/life balance the way Paris Hilton wrestles with her high school equivalency test know how hard it can be to face Father’s Day. It is an honoring, after all, of your skills as a parent, and if, in your heart, you suspect those skills are deficient, the anxiety leading up to the actual day can be daunting. Worse yet, they went and made it a Sunday. Trust me, it’s much more difficult to get out of a commitment on the day the Lord rested.

Those of us who wrestle with work/life balance the way Paris Hilton wrestles with her high school equivalency test know how hard it can be to face Father’s Day. It is an honoring, after all, of your skills as a parent, and if, in your heart, you suspect those skills are deficient, the anxiety leading up to the actual day can be daunting. Worse yet, they went and made it a Sunday. Trust me, it’s much more difficult to get out of a commitment on the day the Lord rested. The implication being that if the all-knowing, all-seeing entity that created the universe scheduled one day of down time into his PDA, the least you could do is stop trying to find some country where it’s already Monday so you can call them and get patched into their morning sales meeting. Maybe God has been around so long because he’s not a dysfunctional workaholic, and spends time with his family on the weekends.

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The Father’s Day card from my wife was sweet. The outside read “To My Husband on Father’s Day: I Remember Every Day We’re Together.” And when you opened it up it read “It’s Not Hard. There Were Four of Them.”

At my daughter’s private school, the kids gave awards to each other’s fathers, and I was voted “The Dad Who Is At Least A Better Role Model Than Alec Baldwin.”

Of course, even if one is a father himself, one still has to make sure to commemorate the day with his own father. This can be trying for me, because my dad is not of the introspective, enlightened generation which comprises today’s modern, conflicted CEO’s. Even if he did understand the concept of work/life balance, he would most likely hire someone to deal with it. When I was growing up, it was a given that a man must work and work to support his family. Nurturing and quality time were considered de facto betrayals of the American Dream. Just the same, the call to Pop this year went well, and we reminisced about some of the highlights of my boyhood with him, and those few moments he reserved just for me. Like the only time I got a hug was when he performed the Heimlich on me. Or how we went to one baseball game together, but he found the seventh inning stretch such a blatant display of unproductive laziness that we left and went to the Stock Exchange floor to see some real non-stop action. And he did take me fishing once, but there wasn’t much for me to do except watch the occasional dolphin get caught in the tuna nets. I wished him a happy Father’s Day, and he jovially wished me the same, adding “you are their real father, right?” That dad of mine!

How was your Father’s Day, American dads?