Saturday, June 18, 2011

There's a Card for That. Or, Maybe Not.....

The third reason we celebrate Father’s Day in our house, after the more noble ones related to giving my husband his day and showing our expressions of love, relates to reciprocity. I need Mother’s Day, therefore Father’s day must be observed.


Leave it to my husband to turn the tables.

“Is there anything special you’d like?” I asked a week or so before the big day.

“Ah...” he said, “I haven’t even thought about it.”

With one deft stroke he released himself from the tacit quid pro quo I’d established.

But I wasn’t giving up. The kids and I would do something nice for him and he was going to like it.

I needed inside information and I needed it fast. I snuck off to the online pages of Esquire to glean what I could from the self-defined magazine for men.

What did the man who had everything want for himself? What would he give his own dad?

Between the photos of women in underwear, I found a few interesting articles. I got choked up reading “Ultimate Wisdom” a quick and poignant section with famous men sharing their thoughts on fatherhood. My mind and budget were blown reading “The Digital Man’s 2011 Father’s Day Guide”, a description of gadgets I didn’t know existed outside of the Jetson’s. And I spent a bit too much time clicking through “25 Perfect Ties for 25 Different Dads”. Shopping for ties was actually fun when I didn’t have to think about the suit, the job, or the reason he wore them.

I left the pages of Esquire promising I’d return again at Christmas time, something I’m sure they were thrilled to know, and considered my options. It didn’t make The Digital Man’s list, but my favorite idea vaguely fit the bill: yes, it was time to get my husband a digital meat thermometer.

Then, I looked inward. What did I...

I mean, what did my husband... really want?

Time.

For the parent of young children, nothing is more wished for than time, especially time without obligations. For my husband that would mean time to sleep, time to go for a jog, and time to drink coffee—sitting down.

I could give him that.

Especially between the hours of 8am and 2pm.

With a shortage of my own free time, I waited to call our air conditioner folks, the ones who installed the unit last year, and the only appointment they had left was at the end of July.

Or, Sunday, June 19th.

Which means during a six hour window on Father’s Day, I’ll hold down the fort and wait for our air conditioner to receive its well-child visit.

Happy Father’s Day, honey. This year we got to you 2 lbs of Puron refrigerant.


In the interest of reciprocity, perhaps my husband can spend next Mother’s Day waiting at the DMV.

All things considered, lightening the load of chores on a spouse’s to-do list sounds to me like one of the best presents of all.


*For those who worry about the state of Lunch Box Daddy (mostly his father-in-law) fear not: homemade cards, favorite food, and a promise from the girls that they really are rooting for the Red Sox, will also be given.

1 comment:

Tim Morrissey said...

Lightening the load IS one of the best presents. (And it's OK for your Red Sox to beat my Brewers once in a while, your family roots notwithstanding; but geez - what a Father's Day beat-down!)