|(left to right): My son, My Dad and I |
(Picture taken in spring of 07)
John Lennon. We all know him as a rock and roll hero as well as a leader for peace: he wrote the song “Imagine” which is practically considered the anthem for peace on earth. All this and yet his children, now in their twenties, say that they rarely ever got to see him. Apparently he was never home to spend time with his kids. I think a real hero is someone that can find balance in their family life while setting high career goals at the same time. That is the ultimate obstacle. My dad has achieved that.
My dad was anything but a great student in high school, but he went on to work hard in his education later on. As a teenager, he was smart but didn’t really care about school so he did just enough work to maintain D’s and C’s, just to get by. One day he was even kicked out of school for wearing jeans even though everybody knew it was against the rules. He went on to go to Suny New Paltz for college, but he was more interested in his job as the guy who hired bands to play at the school than his grades. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, in the process of marrying my mother he began to work hard and build a good career. He went to law school and, for the first time, studied really hard and got really good grades. And soon enough my mom was pregnant with me.
After his education, he worked incredibly hard at building a career, but still found time to be with his family. After graduating from law school he went to work as a lawyer for CBS news. After my brother and I were born, he had to work grueling hours. Often I would be going to bed by the time he was getting home. But that didn’t stop my dad from spending time with me and my brother. When I was in elementary school, he would use the little time off that he had on the weekends to coach my baseball and soccer teams. And the two weeks or so that he was able to get off from work each year were always used to take us places: mainly camping. We had great times swimming in the lake, hiking, fishing, whatever. My dad always strived to be a family man.
To this day my dad spends a lot of time with my family, but he also continues to build a very successful career. After law school and his job at CBS news, he eventually was hired at ABC news where he worked for the majority of his career. There, he worked with many great people in the news department and eventually became vice president of the law department. Even in his ‘older’ age he continues to challenge himself, recently moving on to become a television agent. He continues to strive for success, working hard to help young news reporters get hired by the companies he once worked for as a lawyer.
It’s been over forty years since being suspended from high school for wearing jeans, but eventually my dad overcame the ultimate obstacle: working hard to bring his family comfort, while also finding time to be with his family and enjoy life. He’s still an ordinary human being: he can sometimes be mean or stubborn. As people get older, many start to obsess over the human faults of their parents and their admiration tends to dissipate. My admiration for my father grows and grows. As a father of one, with one on the way, I begin battling my own difficult fight to maintain balance in life. Becoming a father, myself, I only see more clearly how unique and special my own father's work ethic has been. It inspires me and lets me know with confidence that I will be successful in my career while also getting to spend that "quality time" with my family. I love you Dad.