Father Time is a weekly column dedicated to the concept of time in a parent’s life, particularly a father’s life. The point of view comes from a father of two young sons, both under three-years-old, and how time really is just that: a concept.
Kids are up from their afternoon siestas
Rushing to finish work, reports, data entry so you don’t have to work over the weekend.
Jump in the shower, spray cologne, throw on that new lumberjack-type shirt you bought that makes you feel a little younger, and the jeans that make you look a little bit slimmer.
Yvonne, your trusted babysitter arrives.
5:15 – 5:30 PM
You and your wife chat with Yvonne, show her what’s for the boys’ dinner, talk about Yvonne’s adventures as a young person with no kids, how she’s going skydiving this weekend with her boyfriend.
5:30 – 5:40 PM
Try to leave the house, but your two-and-a-half year old realizes what’s going on and throws himself at your feet in the doorway, gushing tears. You set up Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and calm him down then carefully leave the house.
5:40 – 6:15 PM
Leave the neighborhood with no plans yet as to where to go for dinner. Wife Yelps the closest whatever: pizza, gastropubs, those new places in North Park, or should we just go to our local restaurants? In this discussion, you find yourself inching along in Friday night traffic, kicking yourself for not taking another route. You finally decide on that Neapolitan pizza place on Park Boulevard you haven’t been to since before you had kids.
Glass of wine, salads, and warm olives are on the table for two, by the window. Pizza is on the way.
6:30 – 7:00 PM
The conversation continues to center on the days’ events, how the baby almost swallowed the rubber doorstopper, how astute, almost clairvoyant your two-year-old is becoming. The salad is delicious. The wine is good. I hope the boys are good for Yvonne. What are we doing tomorrow? Oh yes, Dadurday. Science museum, lunch. They’re really starting to take an actual interest in the place.
Pizza is on the table. So delicious. So nice not to cook. Hope the boys ate. Hope they’re being good. Work is so busy these days. Hey, remember when we used to do this on Friday nights: go for a swim, make love, shower together and get ready, then go out to dinner?
7:15 – 7:45 PM
Those were the days. Who should we vote for? We know who we should vote for. This place hasn’t changed much and how funny is the server’s hair? We won’t have dessert here. Hey, were not talking about the kids. (Did we realize this?)
Bill is paid. If we go right now, we can venture further in North Park to Streetcar Doughnuts. It’s so bad for us, but it’s worth the trip. It’s worth it to enjoy this time.
8:05 – 8:15 PM
Share a Raspberry Crème. Let’s not worry about how many calories this one probably is. Let’s not worry about anything right now. Let’s not worry that—oh, man, it’s time to go back. Right now.
We’ll be late. We’ll spill over into Yvonne’s night. Only by ten minutes or so. Ten she can hopefully make up over the weekend. Time she may not realize she has available to her at many intervals during the day. See, she only has a few hours that she has to worry about our boys. We can only get a little bit away, but we’ll always worry about them, even if it’s just up the hill at dinner.
Back home. Boys back in our arms. They’re tired. It’s time for bed. It’s been time.
Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker.