Thursday, July 2, 2009


Happy Fatherhood Friday everyone!

No, I did not sneeze while titling this post, (but I did visit, who put on Fatherhood Friday.) Check it out!

Koyaanisqatsi (pronounced Koy-Yawn-Ih-Skot-See) is a Native American word that translates to “Life out of balance.”

In college, I had to watch a movie by the same title that was all about the frenetic pace of life today. No actors, no dialogue. Just music and serial still images shown at high speed (e.g. they took an overhead picture of an intersection every minute for 24 hours and then played them back “rapid –fire” like one of those cartoon flip books.)

This past week, my life has been “out of balance.”

I left for a conference Saturday evening, and as I’m typing it’s Thursday morning, and I’m headed to the airport soon.

Several other colleagues came to the conference. We had an outing one day, which basically got rained out. We went out to dinner once, which was fun, and mingled together at a reception another evening.

Outside of that, I’ve pretty much either been at the conference or holed-up in my room, except to eat or work-out, the continuous rain putting a damper on many potential activities.

At first, the repose from the chaos at home was nice. Being able to just sit and think in silence is a novelty these days. No yelling, no crying, no tv, no music, but no giggling, and no one to talk to or play with, either.

And so, I resorted to my modus operandi for such circumstances: I’ll just delve into work and get some things done so that I can enjoy more free time at home.

Of course, I’ve just made the official transition to a new leadership position at work (though I’ve been working in that role unofficially for the past 3 months). This means many things, which include responding to about 50 emails a day, and making a number of phone calls to ensure things are running smoothly, even while I’m away.

And I got a fair amount of work done on some of my own projects, too.

So much so that I got lost in the work for a few days. I mean I slept, ate, talked to Mom-E and the boys, and exercised, but other than that I was pretty much fixated on work for a few days. This is not inherently a “bad” thing; I like what I do.

However, I usually talk to my dad on the phone most every day. He called last night (he usually waits for me to call), and I realized I hadn’t talked to him in 4 days. It hadn’t even crossed my mind to call.

For almost a week now, I haven’t played with legos, Thomas the Train, sidewalk chalk, or cars. I haven’t watched any children’s tv (or any tv for that matter). I haven’t changed a diaper, or given a bath, or read a bedtime story, or ran through the sprinkler, or chased a naked child around the living room (it’s like catching a fish with your bare hands to get them into the tub sometimes).

And I haven’t carried around one child or the other pretty much all the time (though my back is thankful).

And I haven’t talked to Bab-E. Yes, I routinely put my head close to Mom-E’s baby bump and talk.

I’ve been flexing my work and physical muscles, but my dad muscles have atrophied a bit.

My life has been out of balance. Koyannisqaatsi.

I’ve realized this before, but it seemed to hit me harder this week: There’s always another email or phone call that could be made, another project to work on when the last one is finished. It doesn’t end. “The reward for hard work is more hard work.”

At some point you just have to say, “I’ve done enough work for today, and in the absence of anything life-threatening, everything else can wait until tomorrow.”

And that’s easy to say, and harder to implement, especially with email, texting, etc. We’re always “on.” And there’s no one to tell you how much is “enough” and when to relax.

I need that time with Mom-E, Big Brother, Little Brother, and Bab-E. They energize me and make me happy. The thought of coming home to them gets me through many days. I enjoy my work, but when they’re not around, my life is, well, rather boring.

And so, I’m more than ready to return to the chaos and giggles.

Big Brother, whose alter ego is Iron Man, has continued to be promoted in the ranks of super hero-dom. At first, he just told people he was Iron Man. Then, he started putting stickers on his hand so that “Iron Man can shoot the bad guys.” Apparently this week he has resurrected a plastic figurine from an old toy. That figurine is now Iron Man, too.

You probably guessed (correctly) that Little Brother wants to have an Iron Man, too. (I’m quite excited about this transition in toys. We’re getting promoted to ACTION FIGURES!)

I’m guessing that I’ll be hunting for some action figures to bring home while I’m waiting in the airport today.

In what will amount to a crazy attempt to put things back into balance, I’ll be home for about 10 hours, and then everyone is flying out early tomorrow morning for a July 4th family reunion on Mom-E’s side. I won’t be bringing the laptop, or the jump drive, or the pager. Just family time, and that’s what I need right now.

At this point, even an airplane trip with the boys is welcome, and you know how that sometimes goes.

Have a good weekend (I know I will),


  1. i'm sure it will be good to have that family time. enjoy yourself. here's to a good reunion to you all. :) btw that sound clip about the bab-e name was too cute. he almost sounded like a rooster haha :)

    p.s. no ff yet. maybe tomorrow, on MY friday, haha

  2. I'm right there with you man. It's crazy indeed, but enjoy the time away and the holiday! Koyannisqatsi...bless you!

  3. I hope you get some nice quality time with everyone this holiday weekend. Happy 4th!

  4. It was a pleasure to read this post because it's wonderful to see that you need that balance between work and family. It touches me. And kudos to you for not bringing the electronics to Mom-E's family reunion. That speaks volumes.
    Then you provided me with the link about your previous airplane trip. Glad you survived and with your sense of humor intact.
    I hope your weekend is great!

  5. Happy Fourth of July! Enjoy the trip with the family and don't worry...things will go back to normal once you are home. LOL! Rosi

  6. Busy Dad-E...can't thank you and Mom-E enough for coming to the family reunion even though I know you are very tired from your trip. BTW...if Mom-E had not needed you to help get everyone to the airport, you might have well have slept in the airport Thurs night after you got in from your conference since you had to be back there a few hours later to fly out again to go to the reunion. As you can see, Grampap and I did bring our laptop on the trip. Rest up kids...

  7. I hope that you get some down time this weekend (or soon) just to hang out with the family.

  8. I definitely struggle with this balance...even though I don't have to travel as much as you. It was great spending some time with you guys this weekend! Love-Aunt-E