In the past few years I found myself on the job market – twice. Both were shots to the ego and I questioned a lot of things. What happened? What could I have done better? Is it time to find a different career? All I knew was, in the great (paraphrased) words of Dan Glover in “Lethal Weapon,” “I’m getting too old for this s….” Anyway, the one thing kept me sane was the support of my amazing wife, other friends and family, and our two little ones.
Those two kids didn’t miss a beat, asking me how my interviews went and what I was doing for the day as I drove them to school. And it wasn’t a “let’s be nice to Dad, so he takes us for a Slurpee;” it was true interest on their parts. I was proud of them for their empathy and sad that I somehow put them in that position.
All is good now that I’ve landed with a great company, where I have a lot of old friends who are part of an excellent group to work with. And again the girls haven’t missed a beat, asking how my day was, who I got to talk to, and if they have a popcorn machine at work (the last two places I worked did, the new place doesn’t).
So what does this have to do with Father’s Day? Nothing really, but no matter what gift they get me, or homemade project they make me, I’m going to cherish it a little bit more because it comes from two of the sweetest kids I know. I knew that before, but how they’ve weathered the jobless storm proves that my wife and I are doing pretty good at this parenting thing.
So on Father’s Day this year, take a minute and look around and see that you’re doing a pretty good job too. Celebrate yourself a little — you deserve it! Dads tend to do what’s expected without fanfare, but since they have a Father’s Day, why not take advantage? And if you’re not a dad, but plan on celebrating one, may I suggest these three gift ideas:
Find a favorite. Dads usually have a favorite “something,” be it drink, food, sports team, music, etc. Getting him a gift of his favorite something shows that you pay attention and he’ll use it.
Time. I’m not talking about a watch or the magazine, but giving him time to do something he’s been putting off. No, not off the “honey do list,” but something for him like going fishing, heading to the ballpark, or whatever pastime he has but can’t always get to because of his other obligations.
Get him a tie. Sure it’s cliché, but you never know when he’ll have an interview.
– Jim Pesta is a Parenting Program participant and father of two girls.