Friday, June 15, 2012

A Father’s Day Gift – A Pocket of Time

As Father’s Day approached this year, I found myself struggling with a gift for my husband, David. He is not a tech-head; any device starting with an “i” is a lost cause and may never find its way out of the box. He prefers his old records, because to him, they sound better and he likes the nostalgia. I have faced the fact that my husband would have been happy if all technology stopped advancing in the last millennium and I am just happy that we don’t have a rotary phone for our landline. He hates cologne, doesn’t wear jewelry, not even a wrist watch - he can’t stand the feeling and it’s taken years of ongoing reminders for his wedding band to get slipped on in the morning.
So you can see why stink sticks (cigars) and a good bottle of scotch have been my go-to-gifts for most occasions. This year I wanted to do something special, our five year old son, Cooper, seeks out his Dad much more than he did as a toddler. David has a great way of balancing fun and authority, I’ve often been amazed at how he can discipline Cooper and the two are joking around shortly after the time out or tantrum. The boys, my boys, are much closer now; I wanted to find a special keepsake that they both could share throughout their lives. When David and I were first dating, I asked him the question “What is the one thing you would save if there was a fire?” After a little consideration he said he’d grab the antique pocket watch his dad had given him for his high school graduation.  So, for his Father’s Day gift I wanted to have this special keepsake fixed and cleaned, actually working again.  Unfortunately, the watch is very old and the necessary parts to fix it can no longer be found.
In keeping with my initial intention to make this Father’s Day really special, I was fortunate enough to find out that the antique watch repairman happens to also be a collector.  He brought out a case of antique pocket watches for me to look at. I chose an antique conductor’s watch from 1919, they’ve become collectible because they are so well made and parts can still be found. Between my son’s obsession with trains and my husband’s fondness of history and tradition, it felt like the perfect fit. It is a charming piece, both sides can be opened, one to set the time and the other to view the delicate gears shift and swing. My husband will need to wind it 20 times a day but I know he will find a little satisfaction in this ritual. Cooper, I hope, will enjoy seeing David with his special “Conductor’s Watch” and will think of his Dad when he is able to put it in his own pocket later in life.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. ~ Carl Sandburg

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