|Miss you, Dad.|
On this day dedicated to the dad's in our lives I find myself reflecting on the dads I've had and have in my life.
As long time blog readers may recall, I lost my father in January of 2011. To this day I miss him every day in sometimes small, sometimes big ways. I wanted, on this day dedicated to fathers to share some of the lessons my father taught me that were oh so important to learn.
Camping is one of the funnest activities known to mankind. When cooking marshmallows over the campfire it is essential that you set them on fire, blow out the fire and then slide the nasty burnt marshmallow off as the inside will be perfectly gooey.
If you want to upset a chess genius, use an old electronic chess set from the early 80's and right when he's about to whollop you for the fifteen bazillionth time, hit the "switch sides" button on the side of the chess board. I laughed so hard as my dad turned purple in the face and sputtered that it was cheating, no matter how much I dead panned that it wasn't cheating it was "scorched Earth agenda" in chess terms.
The same concept goes for a man who can speak 5 languages without trying. Speak in Pig Latin. It drives them nuts ;).
If you feel like your life problems are all encompassing, go out for a hike and revel in the fact that you are amongst beauty that has been there from way before you were born and will be there long after you are dead and gone.
Nothing is better than eating luke warm noodles out of a thermos after skiing across a frozen lake with your father visiting fishermen along the way.
If life were easy none of us would have the need to develop character. That would lead to a lot of boring people staring at blocks of tofu.
Children are the greatest gift that you can imagine, and the greatest challenge you will ever undertake.
To those who have been divorced and are separated from your children...Never give up on your children, no matter how much you might say you want to. My father called every week for 10 years. Every Sunday. No matter how much we kids would blow him off and act like we didn't want to talk to him. But, it paid off in that I woke up and we rebuilt a relationship where I regained my father, and not only that, I gained a heck of a friend too. So, keep trying and know that I'm pulling for you if no one else is.
True love isn't some romantic thing. True love is knowing that the love you feel for your partner is true and solid and that the love they have for you is the same. And it can happen, no matter your age. My father found my step-mom in his 60's and used to say that if they'd met when they were younger he wouldn't have appreciated her for her true beauty, intelligence and kindness because he hadn't been through enough yet.
Nothing is more precious than having someone be there when you need them. Nothing.
And of course, there was the most important life lesson he used to give me whenever I was feeling down...
Smile. Life can definitely get worse.
I'd also like to say a few words about the other "dad" in my life. My husband.
My husband was one of those guys who grew up one of seven kids. I was one of four. Neither of us wanted to have kids right away, so after we got married we waited for quite a while before having them.I'm very lucky to have him.
Even after I got pregnant my husband had his doubts about what type of father he was going to be. He needn't have worried. My children could not ask for a better dad.
He is a man who has never once complained when I spent money on anything I deemed important for the children including me taking up gluten free/dairy free and corn free cooking (which while gluten free cooking worked for me, failed miserably with my son), herbalogy, all kinds of different devices and things to try and help Alvah. He even built him a swing in our living room when we lived in our old house and moved it to Alvah's bedroom first thing when we moved to our new house. He also never once complained when I'd spend money on Armina on a new toy or some small consolation to let her know that while we might not be able to show it all the time that we do indeed want to be fair to her and it isn't only her brother who gets cool stuff.
He is a man who made sure that my daughter got to pick the color her room was going to be when we moved to our new house and let her pick her own ceiling fan. She also picked her brother's room color too and he just handed the paint chip to the paint counter person and said, "We've been told to paint the son's room this color, so I guess we'll take that." *Laugh*
He is a man who has taken a lot of beatings from my son especially and never loses his temper with the kids.
At night when he comes home from work he is not only dad, but also video game player (my son loves to watch Crazy Taxi and watching it, let alone playing it, doesn't agree with my equilibrium), horsey, boy rocker (the only way my son will go to sleep some nights) and jungle gym. I know he must be exhausted a lot of nights, but he does all of those things and enjoys it.
He is a dad who double checks with me to make sure the nightly checklist for the kids has been completed. And the most important part of that checklist is to make sure that a bedtime story has been read and that my daughter has read her book back to me. Making sure hugs have been given is next.
He also never complains about when the house looks like a tornado hit it and there is uncooked white rice all over the floor. He knows that I'm doing the best I can, that my son is a handful and that I'll make it right tomorrow.
And he's the dad who, after his wife has collapsed in an exhausted stupor makes sure that any leftovers from dinner she might have forgotten to put in the fridge get there so that food doesn't go to waste.
Remember to tell your special man that you love him today and to those lucky enough to still have their father's around...call them and let them know you love them for me, okay?
Happy Father's Day!