Monday, December 28, 2009
Cross words with crosswords
I was delighted to have my father get to spend a bit of time with his new grandson over Christmas. On more than one occasion, my dad spent over an hour just holding my son and gazing at him lovingly. I daresay this is what my father has enjoyed most about parenting/grandparenting—just holding and loving.
At one point, somehow, we got on the topic of my father’s love of crossword puzzles. I was recounting to my wife how, when I was a kid, my dad used to walk in the door from work, immediately pick up the paper and spend the following 45 minutes doing the crossword puzzle. I then told of the time he came home and turned to the crossword page, only to find a giant hole where the puzzle should have been. I had cut it out.
I kind of chuckled at my pre-teen cleverness for a second before realizing that my actions were more than an attempt at humor. As a boy who only saw his father part-time, I was pissed off that my father’s priority was to his crossword and not to his son, who had been awaiting his return since 8:30 in the morning.
To his credit, my dad recognized this as soon as I said it and apologized.
As a dad, I fully understand the need for “me” time. Every dad needs a little time to himself. In fact, I think it is essential to find some time in the day to do whatever recharges your battery—go to the gym, meditate, or hit a bucket of golf balls. My suggestion to you is this, however - don’t make your “me” time your main concern when you come in the door. It sends a message to both your spouse and your child that your quiet time is a bigger priority in your day than they are. Chances are your spouse has had just as exhausting a day as you have and it’s a sure bet your child will want to share their news of the day with you.
Greet your family like coming home to them is the best thing that has happened in your day. Chances are it is.