No, this is not a post on day old chicks that I sauteed in butter for lunch on Fatherâ€™s Day. Itâ€™s about taking the opportunity to smell the roses, or in this case, view with awe and amazement, some day old chicks, and think about life thus far. Becoming a dad was the most mortifying, satisfying, rewarding, stressful, hair-raising and losing, fulfilling and wonderful experience in my entire life. I never thought I would be a â€œbreeder.â€ I was one of those focused fast-track businessmen who careened around the region on the proverbial bullet train to â€œsuccess.â€ I always thought there were two types of people – breeders and non-breedersâ€¦and worse, I always thought, and still do, that people should first take a tough qualification exam and pass it with flying colors before they are allowed to add to (or is it water down) the global gene pool. I mean we give exams to folks who want to drive, or design and build houses, or fix teeth, and yet ANYONE is basically allowed to breedâ€¦ Just because they can physically MAKE babies doesnâ€™t mean they SHOULDâ€¦ I was also of the nutty opinion that there should be sound-proof padded lockers on jet planes where you could safely belt in little travelers so they wouldnâ€™t disturb other passengers when altitude affected tiny eardrums (with oxygen, a window to see mom and maybe a little tv). If you asked me 20 years ago if I would have any kids, I would probably have said EXACTLY what is printed on my 10 year old daughterâ€™s favorite t-shirt at the moment â€“ â€œDuhhh?â€
But once you become a parent, or a Dad to be more exact, all of those outrageous thoughts seem to vanish into the Manila haze. Today I got up early at the beach, went out on the terrace, and startled a rather large sized bird that took off from a branch of a yucca plant just 2 feet from the balconyâ€™s ledge. On the plant was a perfectly formed birdâ€™s nest and in the nest were two or three newly hatched chicks (in the photo above). When my daughter woke up she also watched, fascinated, as the tiny little chicks stirred with eyes still shut, in their cramped but comfortable nest. It was the perfect way to start a Fatherâ€™s Day. For me, the greatest joys of parenting come in moments such as theseâ€¦ it is critical, in my opinion, to recognize, stop and savor them. I chose to take a lot of time off from a career to be around when the Kid was and is growing up, and it was the wisest decision I have made thus far.
Later, at the breakfast table, my daughter brought me some presents and a card. She is fantastic about planning ahead so many of these goodies were obtained weeks ago and carefully hidden away until today. I got two terrific aprons to use while cooking, a great key chain that reads on one side â€œTop Class Chefâ€ and on the flip-side â€œProud to be a 100% ingredient mixing, food, preparing, Well Seasoned Chef,â€ a luxurious note-pad (joint present with mom) to jot down stuff for this blog, and best of all, a card whose envelope read: â€œTo: The greatest father in the World!â€ Inside was a card which carried an abstract photograph the Kid had taken in a digital photography class and a terrific personal note inside. It doesnâ€™t get much better than this. Life is very good indeed. Savor your family. Donâ€™t forget to smell the roses or inspect the new-born chicks. Happy Fatherâ€™s Day!