It was the first “raft night” of the summer at the Science Park Recreation Association, and our kids were pumped. I chose to stay home and get caught up on my work emails. When the kids came home and talked about how much fun they had, I knew I made a bad choice.
As fathers, we can’t slow our kids down from growing up so fast, but we can choose to maximize the time we spend with them. Yes, there are times when I don’t have a choice — when there’s a work function that I’m obligated to attend. But there are many other times when the choice is mine — no immediate deadlines or mandatory work functions — but rather a choice I make to catch up on work.
When the kids are all grown up, I know I will look back on those choices with an aching heart and major regret. With a daughter now in high school, I vowed to myself that I would choose “dad time” over “work time” from this point on, whenever I have the choice.