Looking back on being a father one of the coolest days were “take your child to work day”. I always thought here is a chance to show my kids exactly what their old man does for a living and help them understand why he is so stressed and grumpy at the end of the day. A real test for just how tough it is to earn a living…shows what I know.
My daughter in a recent text to me, says, “today is take your child to work day, reminds me of the time Dad took me to work and left me with Betty (admin) to operate the switchboard, make cappuccinos and fax pictures over to Mom while you were in meetings all day.” I had to laugh and those of you who are parents know what I mean. Even though, I thought I was a super cool Dad by bringing her to work I overlooked one thing. It is about time, and quality time spent with your children. Yes, I suppose I did pawn her off on my admin for awhile but we did ride back and forth for two hours and we did have lunch that day. That is my explanation and I’m sticking to it.
Now, the switchboard back then was an important hub of activity and lord knows we all like cappuccinos and that fax machine was cool back in its day the most important thing is to be able to spend time with your kids and show them what this world is all about. I admire parents who spend time with their kids, the soccer games, baseball, basketball, hockey, cheerleading etc… I think it is the greatest gift you can give your children and looking at the very dysfunctional families and people I see every day it forces me to ask about their relationship with their parents. A lot can be learned by asking these questions and understanding just what environment these folks grew up in. My daughter and I travelled together quite a bit when she was in high school and college and whatever city we were in we made a trip to the zoo. Whether it was Dublin, Zurich, London or The Bronx I always looked for a zoo to go to. Why the zoo you might ask? The zoo is actually a great place to visit. Yes, there are the exhibits and all the wild animals but there is also shade, plenty of seats to sit down and talk, get some exercise and maybe see something you haven’t seen before. And oh by the way, restrooms are plentiful at the zoo. That is more important the older you get if you haven’t found that out already. Even if you have adult children or grandchildren make it a habit of visiting the zoo. I thought it very funny, when a good friend in Zurich asked my daughter why did you want to go to the zoo? Her reply was “My Dad loves the zoo and I don’t know why”. It was the time with my daughter away from the hustle and bustle and distractions of everyday life that I enjoyed and the zoo is a great place for that. Even today I enjoy the zoo with my son and daughter in law when we get the chance to go. Go to the zoo.
I am reminded of the story of the nurse who has to deal with the old person on their deathbed and the nurse asks them if they have any regrets before they pass on to the afterlife and she says “I have never heard anyone say I wish I’d have spent more time at work”. It is the small things you do as a parent and it’s the interest in your children that you and they will remember as the years fly by. So make some interesting memories.
My son and I had taken many golf trips. Many times we would go to PGA events and I am reminded of two in particular. We were at Oakmont for the US Open. Finishing hole number eight my son and I were watching Robert Games play through and at the end of the hole, Games yelled to my son and threw him the golf ball. That got my son interested in the game of golf and probably a lifetime of enjoyment or frustration, depending on how you view the game of golf. On another occasion we were down in West Palm Beach at the Senior Tour event and we watched Palmer, Player and Nicholson walk up the fairway as a threesome. Where would you get to witness three of the greatest golfers ever walk together in a threesome? I can remember that like it was yesterday, a walking history lesson on the game of golf. Later Chi Chi Rodriguez asked my son to ride to the green with him in his golf car. Good memories influence your children and enrich them.
Make your life meaningful, enjoy your family strive for that work life balance we are always talking about. Create memories for your children and more importantly for yourself. Enjoy your life…