Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Father's Day, a day late!

Sorry about yesterday's downer post. I guess I was just a little sad about the whole thing, but I feel a little better today. I got to talk to him on the phone for a few minutes and he sounds more like himself. I am going down on Thursday or Friday. I can't get there today or tomorrow (obligations to help my sister - my parents AND her husband are out of town and she needs a little help with the boys.) and he has chemotherapy on Wednesday.. So I will have to wait a few days.

Yesterday was a different kind of Father's Day for me. My own dad is in Switzerland with my mom on vacation, so we will celebrate with him next weekend. I took the kids shopping for something for THEIR dad (my ex-husband) and they spent the day with him. So I spent the afternoon with my boyfriend and his girls. We had a good time giving him his surprise - a travel alarm clock/picture frame with a voice recording button. Now he has an updated picture of his girls, and when he wakes up each morning, his youngest will call out, "We love you, Dad! Wake up!" She was so delighted at the thought that she would wake him up every morning, even when she wasn't there. He loves his girls so much, and he misses them so bad when they are gone. He got tears in his eyes when his girls hugged him and gave him his present. No dad is perfect, but he tries so hard to be the best dad he can be. I hope someday they will see how hard he tries, because he is basically a good guy. He was touched, too, by the card and book my kids and I gave him. He is good to them, too. We also went to his sister's house for his nephew's birthday party and I got to meet the WHOLE family. I like his brother, and his sister and I have lots in common- kids and teaching. It was fun.

I thought I would write a little about my own dad, who is a really good guy and a terrific grandpa to my kids. In the years that my kids' dad was far away, he was a surrogate dad in lots of ways to all my kids. And yes, he did (and still does) spoil them. But I guess he's allowed. But my thoughts are still somewhere else.

I've also been thinking a lot about my 2nd ex, Larry, the one who is sick. He was only my kids' stepdad for a short time, but he was such a good influence and father figure for my younger boys when they really, really needed it. He gave Aaron discipline, when I was being too easy. He showed Daniel some stuff under the hood of the car (Larry is a mechanic). He let Daniel drive a 4-wheeler for the first time - just up and down the driveway, but still! how cool was that in the eyes of a 10 year old?! He took Aaron for tractor rides.

He absolutely expected the best from both boys and Rachael, and they gave it to him. They worked hard to be what he wanted, and they were rewarded with his love and respect. Even when he and I split up, I knew that he still cared about the kids. After he and I had decided to separate, and I had had "that talk" with the kids about what was going to happen, he made a point to talk to them himself, to tell them that it wasn't their fault we were divorcing, that he still loved them and would still be a part of their lives. And those kind of talks were hard for him, so I know what an effort it was for him to talk like that to them.

He and Joseph never really hit it off, but that's a whole other story. He was a good stepdad. Rachael to this day teases him when she talks to him about how he is "the bestest ex-stepfather she ever had." (he's the only ex-stepfather she has, but that's beside the point.) And Daniel and Aaron have fond memories of their time in Kentucky.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day to those who are fathers biologically, and to those who parent children they care about. All our kids need you, no matter what your legal relationship is. Thanks for loving our kids.


Tim Tjarks said...

I'm glad to hear Larry's doing a bit better, and hope that things look up further from here.

And, hey, you needed to vent some emotion yesterday, and who better to vent to than strangers? :-) I'm glad you decided to keep up with the blogging, and I'll be sure to check in periodically.

FindingHeart said...

Father's Day is a strange day to me. I mean, Mother's day is for mom's. A day of flowers and froo froo. Father's Day is for dad's, father's, AND (in my mind) those single mothers with no male in sight but who provide the stereotypical "man's role" of bug squashing/fart contest accepting/using a hammer/etc. I've met moms who were very feminine, yet accepted the idea that provided a kind of masculine role where none existed. I'll never want to be honored on Mother's Day, but I sometimes try to think of those dual role moms who bust their arse to provide it all for the kids.

Good post! Thanks for sharing.