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Father's Day: Children always need you, no matter their age

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Tim Brinton

(Read caption) Father's Day is an opportunity for nostalgia, wishing that the early years of children were back again but also being glad in some ways that they're over.

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While waiting for my older son to arrive at Boston’s Logan Airport late the other night, I saw a young father wheeling an overburdened luggage cart, his wife a few feet behind him, a sleeping toddler in his pajamas in her arms. I remember flights like that: for many years when our kids were young we flew from Boston to Oregon for a beach vacation with their cousins and grandparents. Those were l-o-n-g flights and we carried many a sleeping or cranky child in our arms through airport terminals in those days.

In some ways I’m glad those days are over – they look exhausting; they were exhausting – but I can’t help feeling a twinge of envy for those weary parents, too. I’ll be 60 in a few months: my older son just graduated from college and the younger one from high school. They’re turning pages, but so am I, and I regret that I’m much closer to the end of the book than I was during those interminable flights to Oregon, diaper bag under the seat and squirmy toddler on my lap.

Early on in their lives I sensed time would pass quickly. As any parent knows, the days and nights can pass very slowly, but the years fly by. That’s why I was determined to find work that would give me the ability to be home as they were growing up. I was terrified that if I didn’t I’d look back one day and realize I missed it, that I was stuck in traffic during their Little League games, or on the road at a business meeting when their teeth fell out.

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