father’s day reflections

I was thinking a lot about my dad on Father’s Day last weekend and how he drove us to school every morning growing up.

Every now and then, he’d suddenly pull over his 1980 2-door, light blue Cadillac somewhere along Hartshorn Drive.

The reason he’d pull over?

He said he saw Superman in the sky.

Despite how late, he’d take 20 seconds to stop the car, run around it smiling and pointing up, trying to make us laugh.


Of course my sisters and I would giggle but then shout “Dad, stop! We’re late!”

And poor Morris, our next door neighbor who shared our commute, would turn red with embarrassment and slowly sink down onto his trombone case and hide.

But deep inside, even when we’d all say stop, I knew my sisters and I loved the whole routine.

I loved it so much that I found myself doing the same Superman silliness right on 23rd street in the middle of Manhattan on more than a few rushed mornings when I wanted to lighten the morning mood.

I think it’s when I internalized that play is not just action you take but it’s also an energy you give off.

It’s a mindset.

You see, my dad was busy, seeing patients six days a week as a hard-working family doctor. He went to work with a black handbag just like Dr. Baker on Little House on the Prairie. He’d use manila folders for his filing system and take carrot cake as payment if someone couldn’t afford their visit.

Patients loved him as much as we did, likely because he listened, never rushed, and told them laughter was the best medicine.

He had four kids at home with three college tuitions at the same time. He had every reason to be serious and busy and keep his head down.

But he took those 20 seconds in the morning to lighten our day, and I think his as well.

When I feel overwhelmed (like, always), I try to think of the seconds it takes to just pull yourself out of the serious, the busy, or the I might gouge my eyes out mundanity.

And there it is. Play is not just something you can DO to feel happier.

It’s also something you can BE.

Play is an energy that’s already right there inside of you. Like veins, or bones, or your great big beating heart that’s reminding you you’re alive (and that you get only one shot).

Playful energy may not be as strong as Krypton, but I promise you’ll quickly see its power.

With fierce love,

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