I’m visiting my father right now, and was lucky to have enjoyed a wonderful Father’s day with him and my husband, and my brother (for a little while, at least, via Skype): my all-time personal favorite fathers.
Two weeks before Father’s day, my brother landed a job. He received his Ph.D. (MIT) in about 2001, and has been post doc’ing since (10 years!), getting more desperate especially in the last two years as he furiously applied to hundreds of jobs of all types while his rather meager post doc salary gradually dwindled to 75% time, then 50%, then 20%, and finally as he finished up experiments (molecular neuroscience) and papers with no pay. My sister-in-law, a chemist high up in a biotech company, urged him to take a hiatus and stay home for a year with their one-year-old, but he persevered. Last week he started commuting more than an hour each way to his new research position at a biotech startup company. He now has two weeks vacation a year, managed to negotiate federal holidays off, and he is jubilant to have a job, even though his boss requested he work both days of his first weekend – which included Father’s Day. He did tell me over Skype, with a smile, that he is learning a lot.
Brother, (and others out there with similar experiences), I salute your hard work and determination, and sticking with it. And you are a great, thoughtful, loving father. Your son is crazy about you. I hope you get more time with him soon.
There are a couple fatherhood books out recently that I have added to my summer reading list:
- Papa, Ph.D.: Essays on fatherhood from men in the academy, edited by Mary Ruth Marotte, Paige Reynolds and Ralph Savarese. Here’s an interesting review (the other book listed in this review, Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career, and the Conflict of Modern Motherhood, edited by Samantha Parent Walravens is also on my list and I look forward to comparing these perspectives).
- This I Believe: On Fatherhood (edited by Dan Gediman, John Gregory, Mary Jo Gediman. I was touched when I heard some of these stories read on NPR recently.
I’d better get started reading!