Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day

It’s hard to believe another year has gone by since I wrote my last Father’s Day post for Will.  I know you all have heard it 1,000 times before, but Will is truly an inspiration as a father—he’s patient, kind, creative, playful, and stern when he has to be (which is almost never because when you are all of those other aforementioned adjectives, children just listen.  Amazing.  And a little exasperating for those of us who are not all of the above).

As I was scouring our old family pictures earlier this week, I realized (for maybe the first time) just how close Will has been to both of our kids.  I sometimes forget that a mere 15 months ago I was working as a fulltime family law attorney (which translates into a 60 hour plus week, sleepless nights, rushed mornings, grumpy evenings, weekend work catch-up, and countless other intangibles that are hard to translate into words).  Will was my true partner in parenting throughout it all—we were as close to 50/50 parents as you can get.  We both took the kids to the doctor, he dropped the kids off at school and I picked them up, he fed them breakfast, I fed them dinner and we alternated who made the lunches.  But not only did we share all of the responsibilities, we shared all of the fun parts of parenting, too—the playing, the outings, the birthday parties, the daily ups and downs when you have babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  Yes, we were both working (hard), but we had equal amounts of bonding time with our brood; and Frances and George were as close to their father as I’ve ever seen two children get.

And now, we still share family responsibilities, but instead of 50/50 it is 100/100—Will has 100% of the breadwinning status and I have 100% of the home.  It’s no more than before, but the breakdown is different.  And a part of me wonders if it’s a little unfair for him.  And particularly, for the children.  By gaining me at home they have lost time with their father.

But, do you want to know the truly amazing part of all of this?  Will is not the least bit resentful of the new breakdown.  I am fairly certain (oh, who are we kidding, I am completely certain) that if I were in his shoes I would be heartbroken to know that my relationship with the kids had to be curtailed for my career.  I would be thrilled to know their father was with them more, but I would selfishly miss my old time with Frances and George.

I know Will misses us; misses seeing the kids because of his ridiculous work schedule this last year.  But he is happiest when the rest of us are happy.  It takes a special person to put others’ wellbeing before his, but Will does this on a daily basis—easily, joyfully, and without a hint of resentment.  One day, I hope to be the kind of mother that Will is as a father.

"A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty." -- Unknown

Thank you, Will!  And a happy, happy Father’s Day to all of my wonderful fathers out there (Daddy, Frank, Jerry, and “Mr. Pyles”)!

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