Fathers Day at my house begins around 6 a.m. with a gentle nudge and heartfelt greeting from my adoring son, Sam:
“Ed?” (That’s right; we’re on a first-name basis.)
“Can I have the iPad?”
And so begins a day that will be jam-packed with tasks and chores designed to remind me just how appreciated I am.
In the morning my job is to take care of the cat, run a couple of errands, feed the family and clean the kitchen in time to prepare lunch. When that’s out of the way, I step outside to experience a sort of “groundhog moment.” If it’s unusually warm, I’m facing three hours of yard work. If it’s raining, I clean the garage.
Barring injury, the second half of the afternoon entails the first actual “father-son” activities of the day (only because the tablet needs recharging). This could mean a visit to the neighborhood pool or a bike ride. But more often than not, it’s one-on-one hoops in the driveway.
A typical game begins with Sam explaining the rules for 25 minutes, followed by five minutes of rigged competition where, if I make a shot, Sam can call a foul.
On Fathers Day I always have this naïve notion that I’m going to find a few minutes to tend to a few work-related emails, or get an hour to plunk on a guitar while mindlessly watching a game. The last time that happened, I was interrupted after 15 minutes for some crisis or another that could not wait, and that I certainly could not repair.
The best Fathers Day ever was the year I took care of the yard the day before and nothing in the house broke all weekend. Sam and I had a good time at the pool and I even got to have a cigar while grilling some prodigious steaks for dinner.
I’ll settle for that any day.