Wake up, get dressed, check some emails, schedule some phone calls, scarf down some breakfast and hop in the car and begin the hectic morning commute to: the playground.
Working from home with a pre-schooler and an infant means morning routines have looked a little different the last several months. Finding a work/life balance has taken on a whole new meaning when life and work happen simultaneously in the same office/living room.
So instead of racing to an office every morning, more often than not the workday begins with a trip to the playground to burn off some energy-hers anyway, as her father’s energy has long since dissipated. That doesn’t mean she won’t insist on him lumbering up the ladder and mangling himself enough to fit through the slide. How kids are able to hop up and run after coasting down a slide is a mystery. This 35-year-old needs a minute.
Such is life for a dad in 2021.
It hasn’t always been easy. Rarely is it ever convenient. But this reporter wouldn’t have traded any of it for the world.
With Father’s Day approaching this Sunday it seemed a good time to focus on all of the good the last year and a half has created.
Sure it may have taken a sledge-hammer to schedules and routines, but the end result has meant more time with a four-year-old daughter that seems to be growing five times the rate of a normal child. Not just height wise-though somehow she fits into clothes made for ages six or seven-but developmentally as well. It feels like just two months ago she couldn’t talk and yet now she’ll regale anyone who will listen with a detailed analysis of every scene from Frozen.
She’ll even perform the entire soundtrack, just for good measure. And since raising one daughter in a pandemic wasn’t challenging enough, this household decided to add another in late April. Just like her sister, she too is growing at a rapid pace, going from barely able to hold up her own head to throwing punches when her keepers are taking too long to feed her. She does a great job of pretending her motor skills haven’t developed yet and every flail is involuntary, but those swats are suspiciously accurate. Trying to keep both amused, fed and watered during the day while deadlines loom is a juggling act. Time spent at the park in the morning often means having to catch up on writing well into the evening. And that comes with the added distraction of having to take a break every 15 minutes because one has invented a reason to come back downstairs instead of going to sleep (she forgot her mermaid doll downstairs) while the other is saying she’s hungry in a way that only a newborn can.
Rather than complain (ok, there’s been a lot of that too), this writer is choosing to be grateful. For all the tragedy, stress and concern caused by the pandemic, it’s also afforded extra time with the kids that is unheard of in previous generations. Impossible as it may seem in the moment, there will come a time in the very near future when all this chaos will be missed. From all of us at the Beaver and the Gazette, here’s wishing all the fathers out there a much deserved Happy Father’s Day.
Adam Prudhomme is the Editor of the Napanee Beaver
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