On December 1 we moved back to Silicon Valley from Sonoma County where we’d been for the past 18 months or so. My wife, Tasra, got a job with Apple, so now we’re nestled nice and snug at the end of a cul de sac in beautiful Cupertino, CA. These past couple of weeks have been a huge transition for both Tasra and me. This is the first time since college she’s been in a corporate environment. And it’s the first time in 4.5 years since she hasn’t worked at home. Since the summer of 2003 when she left her teaching job, she’s been an author, coach, speaker, professional blogger, video podcast host, and has run our publishing division, Dare Dreamer Press. Now that the book has grown its own legs, she was ready for a new challenge in life, thus the job at Apple.
That has left me in the situation of being “Mr. Mom” for our almost three-year-old son, Joshua, and our home schooled 13 year old daughter. One of the nice things of owning your own business is being able to do that. The challenge for me is that I’ve never been a stay at home dad. I’m used to the corporate world, or since starting Cinematic Studios, running the business full time. So, I gotta admit, it’s been hard for me these past two weeks. I try to squeeze in as much work as possible, but I was feeling overwhelmed when I had 8 hours a day to work. Now that I can barely squeeze in an hour or two, I’m freaking out! 🙂 How will I ever recover?
Then, tonight, I had a revelation. I got my daughter to watch Joshua for about an hour so that I could finish up some work. (Tasra was at an employee-only Christmas dinner party). My daughter was only supposed to watch him a half hour, so for the last 30 minutes, she bugged me every 5 minutes with “Daddy, when are you going to stop?” I’d reply, “In a minute.” She’d retort, “You said that three times already!” Finally, I stopped, put the computers to sleep, and joined them in the family room.
She was playing a really cool Christmas CD the worship band at my church put out, and the three of us starting playing an air-guitar concert to “Little Drummer Boy,” “Silent Night,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” My son kept saying, “Daddy, pway g’tar.” So we played…and…played. We did about two or three encore performances.
And as I strummed the bristles on my broomstick/guitar, watching my little boy strum his plastic sword and my daughter strum her broom, it dawned on me, this is what’s really important in life. These moments are worth treasuring. No amount of work is worth more than the time I as a father can spend bonding with my children like this. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t still get stressed. And, honestly, I’m looking forward to January 7 when he’ll be in day care and she’ll be in middle school (the first time for her since 2003 she’s been in a public school). So, I’m no father saint. But, every now and then I do “see the light” and am able to put life in perspective.
This holiday season, whatever holiday you hold dear, make sure you find the time to really connect with your loved ones. Time is precious. Give it to the people who mean the most in your life.