Finally, the weather is changing for the better and the feeling of spring leading to the joys of summer is evident wherever you go. And as it is every year, summer fever has finally taken over Manhattan. The streets and parks are flooded with people enjoying these beautiful sunny days. For me, it means the start of my yearly change in schedule; a three day work week and a four day beach week starting Memorial Day and ending Labor Day weekend.
And most important, it means more time for me to spend with my three children. My oldest daughter is 7 and my youngest, are twins who turned three in January. To me, there is no joy greater than the precious moments I have with my children. And I’ve worked hard to design my career around my life and lifestyle rather than the traditional way that most people unfortunately concede to, that is; fitting their lifestyle around their career.
When my first child was born, I made a solid commitment to be the most hands-on father I could be, rather than an absentee father who is investing more time at the office than at home with their family. After all, there is not a more imporant job than to be a great parent, not just a parent, which anyone could be. For some people this is a choice. For others, a sad reality they struggle with every day, wishing or hoping for a way to find that elusive balance that many life coaches and self help gurus claim can be attained.
I remember the final days of last summer. I was walking along the beach with my three children, jumping through waves, creating massive sandcastles and searching for shells, sand crabs, jellyfish and all of nature’s wondrous creations that tell us that summer is vibrantly dominating our days and our thinking. As we continued our daily exploration, my son, Jett, found his way to a nifty hole that someone dug earlier that day and left behind for the ocean to eventually swallow.
Of course, as only a boy would do, his first inclination was to jump in the hole, fearless and clueless of how deep or wide it may be. Well, the hole was deep enough that I no longer saw the top of Jett’s head, so I took my two girls by the hand and walked (okay ran) over to Jett, who was enjoying the hole he discovered.
“How old are they?” An elderly voice asked. I turned around and noticed a couple, probably in their early to mid sixties, relaxing in their beach chairs under an umbrella, enjoying the scene of my children playing and laughing and me chasing them around, as only an overly protective, yet highly playful father could do to ensure their safety as well as a joyous day on the beach.
“These two are twins; Nikki and Jett. They are two and a half and my eldest, Jessica, the one over there running towards the ocean, is six,” I proudly answered.