For most of my life, Father's Day was about someone else. Only now is it dawning on me that these days, that someone else is me.
This is not my first Father's Day as a dad, but for some reason it feels like it. I've been asked what I want and what I want to do today, as if I get to choose. Oh, wait, I do. I still think of Father's Day as a day for my dad and my grandfather.
But this year I've really been looking forward to it. After five years of ups and downs, sleepless nights, moments of joy and moments of terrifying fear, fun days and totally stressed out days, tears and laughter, puke and poop and endless discussions about diapers and their contents, there's a day that's all mine.
Now that birthdays feel rote and not especially special, I'll take it.
Ironically, perhaps, what I want I've already got. I'll spend the day with my kids and they're what I want. I don't need a tie or socks (well, I kinda do, actually), I don't need a six pack of Red Stripe or a bottle of Barbaresco (hmmmm ...). As is the case for any parent, money is at a premium, but still I can more or less buy what I want (within reason), except time with my children.
That time is golden. Whenever I get invited to do something, I do complex algebra in my head. Let x = my time with my kids, let y = a nice dinner or a concert ... you get the idea. Maybe it's the result of having kids a bit later on, but you'd better give me a darn good reason to leave them home or I'm just not doing it. Or I'll get to the restaurant or gig after they go to bed.
So, today I'm hoping to get out and do some fun stuff with the family. Hazelnut gelato and maybe Greek Fest or a visit to the zoo. Something along those lines.
But you know what? If we sit on the couch and read books or build a fort with a blanket on the floor, draw volcanoes on sheets of construction paper or just run around screaming in the backyard, that'll be cool, too. As long as my little ones are there, it'll be Father's Day for me.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.