Do you really have to go to work? Can’t you stay and play with us today?
The other day I had site meeting at a project that is really close to my house. There was no reason to drive all the way into the office just to turn around and head back the way I came to go to the meeting. It was one of those chances that I got to stay home a little bit late and spend a little bit of extra time with the family. It’s summer vacation for them, so there are now the occasional days where sleeping late can actually occur. So breakfast, a nice cup of coffee, and some morning cartoons were in order.
Sorry, I do still have to go. It’s a site inspection, and I have to be there for anything that might come up. I’ll be home soon, I don’t have to stay late tonight, I’ll be home before dinner.
These types of mornings don’t happen too often. We usually all have to get up early, and have something to do or somewhere to be, even on weekends. Work, meetings, appointments, practices, you name it, we have them. We are a busy modern family. So like the architect I am, I tried to design a couple of core elements into my life that I stick to.
Projects are demanding, the amount of information and communication needed to get them done is immense. There are late nights, early mornings, and ideas or solutions that pop into your head at all times of the day. No one ever said architecture was an 9-5 job, but daycare, schools, and all those other events that happen throughout the day are on a schedule, and typically they do not follow the moments of inspiration. Deciding to be there when kids get up in the morning, deciding to make sure I am there to kiss them goodnight, taking them to practice, showing up at competitions, every little bit of time I can give to them is what I owe them.
When I first got into architecture school, I knew no one. Nobody from high school, or my job, or anyone else I knew was interested in this. It was like starting from scratch, having to learn everything, feeling a bit… lost. When my oldest was in kindergarten, at the end of year ceremonies, they had a slideshow where each kid showed what they wanted to be when they grew up. You saw plenty of the typical, fireman, policeman, superhero, and the like. Except one child had to be different, one had to pick a career that most five year old probably don’t even know exists. Mine chose architect. Talk about a proud dad moment. That same desire has yet to diminish, along with a few new ones to explore. As long as that desire remains, I try to open up as many opportunities and possibilities as I can. Coming to work with me, visiting project sites, even going to lectures; as much as exposure as I can create is what will help in the future.
I’m going to make an assumption that this wasn’t the “typical” dad behaviors in decades past. Everyone has hear the stereotypes of dads coming home, expecting dinner ready, and retiring to “the study”; either that or going out to hang out with “the guys” and returning home sometime in the middle of the night. Honestly, I’m to old to being partying all night, bar hopping or whatever it is these days; and cooking new types of dinner on the grill or working on my house I actually enjoy. I still have a few years of time to plan trips to some great architectural sites, explore new buildings and spaces, and really… just create a whole bunch of awesome memories. As long as that desire to become an architect is there, I’ll keep fanning that flame. I hope it does, and I hope I get to help create an even better future architect than I am.
Some other great dads have written a post about #Archidads, check out the links below to read about how they see what it is like being an architect and a father.
Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
The Dad — The Architect
Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
Life as an Archidad
Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
Larry Lucas – Lucas Sustainable, PLLC (@LarryLucasArch)
Jared W. Smith – Architect OWL (@ArchitectOWL)
ArchiDad on Father’s Day
Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
Happy Fathers Day #archidads
Steve Mouzon – The Original Green Blog (@stevemouzon)
Fathers Day for Architects – The Empty Seat