My father has always been larger than life for me. He is a WWII veteran. He speaks five languages fluently. He was the editor of Hollywood’s leading industry rag. He won a ping pong tournament on the Andrea Doria while crossing the Atlantic. He taught me to throw a spiral and to use both hands to scoop up a ground ball. I will never be able to thank him enough for giving me the carefree childhood that not everyone is afforded, second only to my mother who gave me everything.
I have his eyes and hair. I furrow my brow like he does, as does my son when he pouts. There are a couple of pictures of him as a teenager that many friends mistake for me. He infected me with a love of all things stationery, especially fountain pens. And a love of writing, although, unfortunately, not his mastery. I envy his luck at having worked his whole life in what he was passionate about since a child.
As Father’s Day approaches I want to thank him for so many things he taught me and for laying a foundation for me. I’ll take the good and build on it with my way of confronting daddyhood with my son. I want to give him that carefree childhood and yet I want to make sure that my work, which I am passionate about, does not consume all my time. It is every modern dad’s dilemma and one I know is shared by many I have talked to, but there must be an equilibrium that allows me to be a more present father? I cannot stand around and wait for someone to enlighten me (although, I doubt there is an easy answer out there) so I will just have to keep at it and as long as I know in my heart of hearts that I am giving it my best, I think I’ll be alright. I’ll win some and lose some and take those lessons and keep moving forward. That, at least, I am sure is part of being a good father.