Ah, Father's Day

Ah, Father’s Day. The most inequitable holiday of the year. Think about it: according to a statistic whose source I can no longer recall, mothers in dual income families do approximately seventy percent of all household and child-related duties, while fathers tackle the other thirty percent. This, by the way, is hailed as progress. Yet, somehow, mothers and fathers are celebrated by society for the exact same amount of time each year. We have Mother’s Day, and we have Father’s Day. Seems pretty unfair to me. I’m thinking it should be more along the lines of Father’s Morning, or Father’s Late Afternoon (or, in the case of my husband, it could be Father’s Ten Minutes Before Bedtime).

Our family spent most of Father’s Day on an airplane, as we were returning from a long weekend in Park City, Utah. As an aside, I have to say that Utah might just be the best place in the entire world to fly to or from with small children. I try to never fly with my twenty month old son, D., but if I must take him on an airplane, I immediately introduce myself to everyone around me and apologize in advance for the seat-kicking, high-pitched screaming, hair pulling and general unruliness that will unquestionably ensue. On flights to New York, I am generally met with unsympathetic stares and immediate requests for seat changes. But on flights to Utah, I get big, understanding smiles. “Don’t worry about it,” said one nice man who sat in front of me. “I have six of my own.” The airport in Salt Lake even has a carpeted children’s area, complete with toys and a kid-sized playhouse. I gotta’ say, those Mormons don’t miss a trick.

I hesitate to call our little trip a vacation, because the word “vacation” implies actual enjoyment, which clearly did not occur. I like to think of it more as a “transportation of misery.” We went from being miserable at home, where I have everything that I need to feed, clothe and entertain my children, to being miserable in Salt Lake City, where I had very few of those things, plus outlets with no covers on them. My husband planned this trip with visions of mountain biking excursions, white water rafting trips, fishing expeditions and scenic chair lift rides high atop the mountains. I tried to explain to him that our children are old enough for none of these things, but he wouldn’t hear of it. So, of course, when we arrived and were told that, in fact, our children are old enough for none of these things, the misery only intensified. Because now we were in Salt Lake City, in a condo with no outlet covers, with absolutely nothing to do for four days. Thank God for portable DVD players.