I am a stay at home dad...kind of. My job as a director in a non-profit, human service agency affords me the chance to be home during the day. I get my work done by phone or computer and if need be get my sister or sister in law to watch my two boys if I have a meeting or emergency. My son Matt was born 5 1/2 years ago. For his first two years on earth it was just me and him, Monday through Friday, in tandem. We went to the gym together (him in his "carrier" 'till about ten months), ate meals together, napped together, golfed together (once again, him in the carrier or in the stroller. Yes, I pushed a stroller around the golf course!) everything together.
When my son Peter was born three years ago, he joined the "boys club". Three of us, all day, playing, living and learning, but most of all, loving. This past summer the "boys club" was in full swing. Trips to the lake, "bear hunting" in the park (before you call PETA, it was pretend), thousands of pitched baseballs, bike and Big Wheel rides around the block, lunch at the driving range. We even, on occasion, let a girl into the club named "Mommy" who joined us at the beach, on the golf course and even a trip to ride the swan boats in Boston.
Summer is ending and fall is on the horizon. Now the "boys club" is down to two. Matthew started kindergarten last week. On his first day of school we walked him 1/4 mile up the hill to his new club. He'll make new friends, learn new things and live a new life filled with new and exciting experiences. Me and Pete will be back at home running the old "boys club". Just me and Pete. Going to the park, playing ball, eating PBJ. It won't be the same without Matt, but different isn't necessarily bad. Matthew and I had two years alone in the club without Peter wherein we got to know each other unlike no other. We mimicked each others movements, words and emotions. Now I'll get to know Pete in the same way. The "boys club" will live on for two more years until Peter makes that walk up the hill in the waining days of summer. Then we'll close the doors to the "boys club", but not for good. The club will be open on school vacations and from June 21st until Labor Day for the next 20 years or so. After my boys are done with college and make their way out into the world I hope they'll take some time and revisit the "boys club". Hopefully we can keep the "boys club" going indefinitely. It'll always be open for business