Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Part-time Schedule for a Full-time Dad

I bought a bright, red Elmo t-shirt today. I plan to wear it with a big Muppet grin of my own. In truth, I’m more of an Ernie man, but I have a two year old who is a nut for Sesame Street’s number one red, furry monster. Seeing Daddy in the shirt will make his eyes go big and all his baby teeth show. I’m selfish. Seeing him smile will make me smile too.

And I’ve been picking out his clothes for the last two years. It’s about time I let him pick out my clothes for a change.

If I worked for Ronald McDonalds and was on fries, I’d be wearing a paper hat. The U.S. Postal Service would have me going house to house in blue shorts, a fisherman’s hat, and a can of dog repellant. Those are five days a week gigs. Hamilton County has decided that I only get to see my youngest boy on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and alternating weekends. I’d like it if I could get more hours on the schedule each week. I keep hearing about a shortage of fathers, but maybe that’s just an urban legend.

But I love the hours I do get on the clock as Daddy. I love my little two year old co-worker. And I’ve even learned to get excited about the red-faced monster that’s on my new uniform. The t-shirt tells the world that either I’m mentally disturbed or I have a small child at home; I like to declare my Dad status. I try not to worry about the misplaced orders of a less than just system that wants to shrink my time with my son. I can’t always be around my little boy, but I feel like I carry him with me, especially when his favorite monster is on my on my shirt.

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