Peter and I were do for a daddy/son adventure so on Monday of this past week I decided to take a daddy day to spend the day with my son Peter. I didn't feel guilty about taking time off of work because I feel that sometimes I miss a lot of his accomplishments. This also gave time for my wife Kate to have some time to herself. I know my co-workers will see this but hopefully they will understand. My job has some flexibility as I work for the City of New York and I am a permanent employee so I am luckier than most other dads who might have to worry about losing their jobs or risking not getting a promotion because they are not at work.
I was thinking, "what should we do?', "where should we go?". I was undecided because the weather was also a factor. It was summer which could mean possibly very hot or stormy weather. I told Peter that we were going on an adventure. Just him and me. I asked him what he wanted to do. He said that he wanted to go to the park which he always wants to do. We got dressed and I decided to take him into Manhattan or as us locals call it the city because there are more things to see and do. We live in the borough of Queens so it would take at least 40 minutes to an hour to get there. We decided to go to Central Park to go to the worlds famous Central Park Zoo and have some fun in the park itself.
Peter loves to take the buses and trains into the city. He always tells me especially when we are on the trains he wants to visit me at work and when he sees the skyline of the city he tells me Daddy works there. On the train ride that day he talked about when he gets older he wants to work in the city just like his father. He looks up to me. He showed me the skyscrapers and talked about how tall they are and made up names for then even though some of them are landmark buildings. I didn't correct him because we having fun. It is the greatest feeling in the world when you see your child happy. He loves to have fun and so do I. I am a child at heart even though I am turning 50 this year. It is great to know that your child has your sense of humor and is following in your footsteps. That day I realized we have a lot more in common then I thought.
We walked and ran into the park on the way to the zoo. This time we made up names for statues, trees and buildings. We even saw a man who made gigantic bubbles. I asked my son what is his name out of curiosity as we were walking towards him. My son called him Bubble Man Sam. We laughed so hard. I had tears in my eyes. I called him Bubba the Bubble Man. He laughed just as hard as I did. My son did not call this man this name nor did I to his face because that is just cruel. We are not bullies and do not believe in that. A child with a sense of humor is priceless. It was all in good fun and nobody got hurt in the process. He did not mention that name ever again. He ran to try to pop the bubbles but they were just so big that they would pop before he even touched them. I was so proud and happy that my son was having so much fun spending time with his dad. It was very special.
When we finally got to the zoo Peter was so excited to see all of the animals. the first thing he did was run to the sea lions. I had to say, "Peter wait." I had to run after him. He mimicked the sound of the sea lions. There were two of them. He name them George and Sally. we stayed there for a couple of minutes because he was so interested in them and amazed by them. I had to read to him the sign about the sea lions. I don't know if he understood what I was saying but my son was very curious. We then ventured to see the penguins. They were inside of a building. There was a glacier and water for them to swim. You can see underneath the water. My son ran up to the glass and watched them swim by. He kept saying, "look daddy look at the penguins". We booth stood there in awe. We saw a mother penguin and their child cuddling. My son said it was like daddy and him. It was another moment when I realized my son enjoys the time he spends with me even if it just cuddling.
We made our way to the children's zoo. It is very interactive. They had a net made into a spiders web that children can climb on. My son even convinced me to climb on it but once other children came over I got off because it said it was only for children. I broke a rule. There was also a hallow tree trunk that children can crawl into to be close to some animals. I tried but I could not fit and almost got stuck so I got out. My son loved it and so did I. I became a kid again.
After the zoo we went to two of the playgrounds to let Peter run around and have more fun also to tire him out. No such luck. One of the parks have a giant slide built into the rocks and made out of smooth rocks which Peter loved. The first time he went down it he flew off of it and landed on his butt. You can tell he was very scared and he hesitated about going on it again and did not cry. He went on two more times. I almost went on it but I did not. The next time I will. I did not because I was getting tired. He did have a ball at the two parks and I did promise him a park but he got two.
Then we stopped by the boathouse and saw people rowing row boats. He told me in his own words when he gets older he will row a boat with me in it and I can sit back and enjoy. I then realized that eventually my son will grow up and I could of missed out on may opportunities if I didn't take off of work occasionally. we spent the entire day out full of fun. A full day at work if I was there. It was the best day in a long time. Do I reget taking a day off even though I had a lot of work to do. Absolutely not it was worth it for my son and especially me.