School’s been out 2 days and Father’s Day is here. I’d like to share my “From the Editor” piece from this month’s L.A. Family magazine. (What? Yes, me. Since January, a magazine editor. Go figure. See for yourself. www.familymagazinegroup.com.)
Anyway, here’s to the Dads:
Every June, as summer vacation comes into view, I find myself in a mix of emotions. On the one hand, I yearn for summertime and its release from homework and schedules, for the added quality family time. On the other hand, I worry about long days and how Christopher and I, working from home, will accomplish anything during the many hours our kids are not enrolled in camp.
Last summer I came up with an idea I thought was brilliant. I put a dozen slips of paper in a hat, each one with an activity written on it that I thought we’d all enjoy: the beach, hikes, museums, bowling, arts and crafts. My reality check came the first day, when my sons nixed everything that came out of the hat in favor of staying home and playing. My youngest wanted nothing more than to spend all day in his pajamas watching tv (actually, that sounds tempting), while his brother’s idea of heaven was for me or his dad to pitch him baseballs all day in the backyard. Neither of those was going to happen.
Before summer has a chance to run away with us, we pause for a moment to appreciate Dads. I must say, my kids won the lottery. I couldn’t have known when I married my husband the kind of father he would be. (Does any of us know how we’ll measure up to the challenges of parenthood?) Sure, I could have predicted kindness, a sense of humor, a desire to be involved. I might have even predicted his magical pied piper quality with kids. What I couldn’t have known was the depth of commitment, energy, patience and passion he would bring to fatherhood, qualities he embraced in the first moments of our first child’s life. And has continued for going on ten summers.
Ah, summer. What I wish for most of all is a pause button. To stay put in a lazy afternoon, laying on a blanket in the backyard, eating ice cream between rounds of hide-and-seek. To put off thoughts of deadlines, or what’s for dinner, or what teachers my children will be assigned come September. To be in the moment.
It isn’t easy. But every so often it happens. And when it does, when I find myself saying, “this is it, a taste of heaven,” I will strain to capture a mental picture. Before it’s gone, to say, “this right now, remember this moment,” and I’ll hope that desire alone will sear the moment in my mind forever.
Wishing you many moments to hold onto.