So Father’s Day came and went… and it was a great day. And not just because I chose to participate in the Disconnect to Reconnect event. But I must admit that turning off my laptop, putting away my mobile phone, and tucking the TV’s remote control between the couch cushions definitely made this Father’s Day feel a bit more special. I spent the day with my wife and two boys — we ate lunch and dinner together, we played board games (lots of Chutes & Ladders and Puppy Dog Bingo, but they still count), we did puzzles, we went to the pool, we took a drive to the ice cream shop, and we had fun in our cul-de-sac riding bikes and practicing swinging for T-ball. There was a nap in there somewhere that gave me a chance to read a few chapters of a new fiction book and visit with my wife… and do the dishes (it’s my thing). I had cut the lawn on Saturday, so no outdoor work for me!
What’s funny to me is:I tend to do these exact same activities with my family even with my digital connections. Like most dads here, I imagine, I’ve got a good grasp on balancing my work life and my family life. Do I tend to check my email more than necessary? Sure. Do I sometimes get caught up in a TV show while my oldest boy is on the floor putting a puzzle together? Absolutely. I try to be the best dad I can to my boys, but I also know that without some me-time, I’d go slowly but surely insane. So there are those moments in the week where I tuck myself into my office for a few rounds of Team Fortress 2. There are moments when I hand my 1 year old to my wife and go hide in my workshop to tinker. And I’ve often got my smart phone within easy reach no matter what I’m doing.
What this Father’s Day provided me was a day to focus on my family and nothing else (okay, not counting the book reading). Would I be willing to do this every weekend? Not a chance. Again… we all need personal time whether it be playing video games, reading, or just tinkering in the shed. But I could easily do this again, and not just once a year.
Participating in this event wasn’t my way of saying that I have a problem email, mobile phone usage, etc. — it was me telling my boys that no matter how busy life gets, how crazy work gets… I can put the phone down, turn off the PC, and focus my attention on family. And I imagine that the other geek dads here who participated feel the same way.
I want to thank all the geek dads who chose to participate — not because you did something amazing, but because you did the complete opposite, something that won’t get you any media attention or accolades. We turned off the world for a bit and reminded our families that we are Dad: fixer of broken items, player of games, dunker of swimmers, pitcher of baseballs, and (at least according to my 4 year old) king of hugs.
I love being a geek dad… but on Sunday I got to focus on the noun, not the adjective. It was great.
Using a complicated method for selecting four random winners (numbering all the commenters who declared their intent to participate or at least offered up positive support, not negative, and having my wife pick four random numbers), the winners who will each receive a copy of the event planner’s book, Jolt, are:
Winners – please email me (click small envelope next to my byline above) and I’ll let you know how to claim your book prize.
Finally, a couple of my fellow GeekDad.com contributors who participated in the event provided me some details about their Father’s Day activities — thanks, guys!