My most important meeting of the day

My most important meeting of the day

Dear Adeline,

I’m important. I do important things with important budgets for important people. I attend business meetings and make decisions. I dress sharply, speak with articulation, and double-check everything that I write. Before a meeting, I research, think, and study. I anticipate concerns and parry objections.

Then, I come home.

Leaving a trail of boogers, milk, toys, and soggy vegetables you assault my right leg with a breathless “Hello Daddy!” You grab my finger, pull me into the family room, sit on my lap, and plunge me into a world of lake-licking Lukes and beetle battles with paddles in bottles.

It’s a jarring transition to be sure. I’m not very good at it, either.

Here is the scenario that’s played out more often than I want to admit:

– Garage door down, walk through the door

– How messy is it? Plop bag down on fireplace hearth.

– Smile and hug to mum.

– Briefly acknowledge you then mosey over to the fridge.

– What do I want? Beer? Water? By the way, what’s for dinner?

– I need 15 minutes to unwind.

– I need a shower. Or, maybe a half hour in the yard by myself.

You wait for me while I prepare for our meeting. In my “important” world, this would get me fired. I wouldn’t close a single sale if I asked for 20 minutes at the beginning of the meeting to eat some food, shower, and mentally prepare. The other “important” people would not tolerate this.

You tolerate it, though. You do because you don’t have a choice. You come to our meeting expectant and full of life. I often come wanting to check out.

This breaks my heart.

So, I resolve to come to our meeting prepared. I’ll take my 20-minute drive home to unwind and change gears. I have a driveway to sit in if I need some time for last-minute cramming. I resolve to walk into our meeting like I am walking into the biggest sales meeting of my life – full of energy, a smile, and ready to engage.

Adeline, you are my most important meeting of the day.

Ryan Eland is an author at The Dad Letters, “a community of fathers trying to explain life, love and the absurd, one letter at a time”. You can follow The Dad Letters on Facebook and Twitter. This post has been republished with permission.

A day in the life of a working dad




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