July 26, 2004

Quality Time: if you can't bill for it, you'll cut it

This is depressing and all too familiar-sounding. On his weblog, Anonymous Lawyer sets off a string of self-flagellating introspection (and little/no action, it seems) with his post, which begins:

I asked one of my colleagues if he wanted to play golf after work this evening, and he said he couldn't. He has to "babysit," he said. "Someone else's kids?" "No, my own. My wife's going out. It stinks." People here -- and I don't excuse my own behavior here -- aren't really parents, regardless of whether they have kids. At our partner lunches people talk about how it's awful that summer camp doesn't cover the entire summer, or how they don't know how to avoid giving the nanny a holiday bonus, or how they don't know why their kids hate them. They hate us because we're never home. They hate us because we're pulling out our Blackberries all weekend while we pretend (and they can tell when we're pretending) to enjoy being around them.
[via the (non)billable hour]


Funny, I just heard the Harry Chapin song "Cats in the Cradle" on the radio today; got me thinking about what a great dad I had. Wrote about it in my blog, in fact... brian.mcgovernville.com

Ugh. I'm blessed not to have too many of these types in my life. And other people don't realize what they're implying when they ask you if you're "babysitting" your own children; I spent the first year and half of fatherhood correcting my well-meaning family: "babysitting is something you do to other people's kids; with your own, it's called parenting, and it's your job".

From a poem of mine called "Bellykisses", about how words get created and change meanings once you're a father:

Verbs like Parent (replacing Babysit)
and Love in a way I've never undersoon --
unconditional and unbounded. Daughter,
whatever makes your two-tooth smile appear,
let me say that magic word again.

I haven't been back to it since posting this, but Anonymous Lawyer turns out to be an inspired work of fiction written by Jeremy Blachman, a 3rd year Harvard Law student.

The story's in today's NYT.

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