Wednesday, October 28, 2009

McDonalds and Harry Chapin

I know a father who is a very busy construction executive. This hard-charging entrepreneur sets aside one night per week to spend with his son who is about 7 years old. It doesn't matter if a mogul or a politician calls. They spend that evening as father and son.

I've been meaning to do that with my son Ethan. It just seems too often that the days, weeks, and then years slip by. Before you know it, you' are a cliche straight from the old "Cats in the Cradle" weepy Harry Chapin song from the 70's.
Last night, I thought a lot about this as Ethan and I spent an evening together. While Heather played Florence Nightengale to the neighbors (dear friend who is widowed with a 6 year old and 2 year old rushed to hospital for an appendectomy on top of swine flu...count your blessings!), Ethan accompanied me to a parenting class. We then spent an hour at a McDonalds that was virtually deserted. He engaged in excited conversation, talked about school, Halloween, building projects we need to accomplish together, the weather, and his need for more McNuggets. He also spent an inordinate amount of time making goofy faces.

We went home, got into our "jammies," read books in Mom and Dad's bed, and he promptly fell asleep. When Heather returned home late from her good samaritan duties, Ethan was conked out in our room. In the middle of the night, he awoke to find his mommy, and he hugged her awake. He asked her in a rather loud whisper if she could hear me snore!

All in all, it was just a great night with my boy. One I will remember forever. It was so simple yet so special.

I need to make it a weekly appointment. I should never be too busy for this sort of meeting.

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