On Being Dad

There isn’t much that I really look forward to this time of year.  September is usually a month chock full of stuff I don’t want to do.  By October things usually change and I start looking forward to the different holiday celebrations and time with family.  One thing, however, I am really enjoying lately is just being a dad.  Over the past week I have successfully taught my daughter how to ride a bike and we spent this last weekend riding around a local park.  It was probably one of the best weekends we have had in some time.  We as a family don’t take much vacation.  It’s not that we don’t want to but it just hasn’t been in the budget.  As a substitute though we have tried to spend time together just being out as family and this weekend’s biking adventure was one of those great moments that could never be duplicated at some tourist attraction.  It is really these occasional moments that makes getting through the things I don’t enjoy worthwhile.

There are a lot of people out there that feel defined by their careers.  That’s fine for them but I feel like I am defined by the memories left behind when I am gone.  It is much more important to me to be seen as a good father than a good businessman.  I think it is that desire that has me wishing I could be home more.  I am a very involved father but I still feel guilty when I have to tell my wife and daughter I can’t do something or can’t be home on time because I have to work.  Certainly it is a fact of life in our society that each family has to have an income but I still regret that I haven’t yet found a way to take care of this need without sacrificing time at home.  I guess the important thing is to be there as much as I can.  In that I am doing pretty good but I always wish I could be there all the time.  If there is any guilt in my life it is that I have to give up so much of my life away from home.

The short story here is that I love being a dad.  I don’t know how many people can say that but I can and I do.  I often hear that the only thing that can make you happy in life is to do what you love.  I think there is a simple truth in that.  We can’t always live up to that ideal but we can try.  I am pretty happy that I get an opportunity to do what I love even if it is only for a few minutes or hours at a time.  In the end all the other stuff just doesn’t matter. 

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