Saturday, June 16, 2012

One More Father's Day

Tonight I had an unexpected treat-- a few hours to relax at home alone.

Don't get me wrong-- I love hanging out with my kids and my wife. But I worked over 170 hours the last three weeks. It was financially rewarding, but I'm beat. I needed a few hours to decompress. My wife is having dinner with friends, and my kids are at parties. I'm relaxing, watching an old episode of "Mission: Impossible" on Netflix, and will soon be enjoying a glass of red wine.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. Tomorrow evening, I'll cook up some food on the grill and hang out with my family. On Monday, my son starts orientation for his summer job, and my daughter starts her theater camp.

This morning, though, I had a great "dad" moment. My kids had a friend over last night. Their friend, like each of them, is the product of a split family; her mother, a close friend of ours, divorced their friend's dad recently, having split from him a few years ago. We kid-- only half-kidding, really-- that the daughter has been "adopted." She spends a lot of time here. We're happy about it; she's a nice kid and a good friend to our kids.

This morning, I got up and made pancakes, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs and fresh fruit for my kids-- my son, my daughter and their friend-- and joined them. It was a delight not only to not have to work this morning, but to be able to join them for breakfast. Afterward, I had some things to do, but the kids helped me clear the table, and they played "Settlers of Catan," a favorite game of theirs, and then played "Rock Band" and watched a scary movie on Netflix.

In a few weeks, my son will be running off to college. My daughter and their friend will be starting their second year of high school. But today, I realized, with some satisfaction, that whatever mistakes I've made in my life, I've done one thing well: I made sure these three kids have had a childhood full of good memories-- memories that will carry them through the ups and downs life will bring them. I'm pretty happy about it.