pen rainbow

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day 2016

Why is this man smiling?

For Dads

June 1988

For today's blog, I thought it would be nice to post a sweet picture of my husband snuggling up with our darling children.  I looked and looked through endless stacks of photos from 1988 and 1989, positive that I'd find the one that would make my heart melt with motherly joy.    

12 thousand photos of the kids in various stages of development.  At least, ten pix of my infant son with jaundice.  Was I high?  I wish.  Was I not aware that kids in underpants is not necessarily the most adorable thing that anyone has ever seen?  And, I really enjoyed the background shots of unfolded laundry and wandering, confused-looking pets.  How many photos does one need of a baby in a high chair eating gruel?  

So many, many pictures of my husband and me looking like we'd been hit by a bus, then dragged for several miles.  Then, trampled by a herd of stampeding cattle.  

It's pretty obvious that we stopped caring what we looked like.  What in God's name was I wearing?!  I should have never worn leggings.  Or, pants with vertical stripes.  Or, knock-off Polo shirts that were both stretched and shrunken by at least 2 sizes.  This is an indication of how much attention I paid to laundry back then.  

I have no memory of my husband ever owning a white wife-beater undershirt.  Nice combo with the bubble shorts, by the way.  These were clothing choices that were the result of shopping with kids.  Grab-'n-dash shopping Hell at Target.  

"I'm in line!!  For the love of freakin' whatever, get me out of this store!" kind of shopping.      

No, I was sober, but in that state of mind that makes parents delusional enough to disregard most of what is actually going on around them.  I might add that this form of altered consciousness cranks up and lasts all the way through the teen years.  

It is why parents of the last kid graduating from high school look like the walking dead on grad night.  They are different from the other parents, grayish and zombie-like, stripped of normal emotions, operating on decades of REMless sleep.

I want to thank that slightly disheveled dad who, for some reason, was holding our son in a patriotic Snuggly.  We'd been in our new house for about a month, and it still had the custom silk draperies hanging in the living room from the previous owners.  Don't ask me why our kitchen table & wicker chairs were also in the living room.

He has been the calm anchor of our family since the beginning.  A calm dad is a gift, and our kids were lucky to have him around.  He indulged them too much.  But, he also opened the doors to a universe of information so that they could explore and follow their dreams.

He made me a better parent.  As much as I wanted him to roar, he simply could not.  It's not in his nature.  

Because of him, we spent more time playing and laughing together as a family.  Our kids learned music because of him.  As frustrating as it was for me sometimes, he was the "yes" parent.  He was always willing to listen to them.  He found ingenious solutions to problems that could have been more easily solved with a "no."  He was a reasonable dad.

I am grateful that he was there for them and for me.  

Happy Father's Day to a really good dad.  

With love. 

• for • the • good • guys •