Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Father's Day 2016

Father’s day was just two days ago. Today, I spent some time reading articles that others had written about their dads who taught them that life was tentative, not to hold on too tightly, to continue moving forward stoically in the face of loss and danger. The described fathers who were strong and deliberate and non-emotional, those who taught you to pay your bills on time, and to not over-discuss things. I could not relate.

None of them sounded like my dad. My dad, who I remember giving me whisker rubs. Who cooked dinner in the kitchen. Whose laughter filled the air of whatever space he occupied. Hearing it, you’d know there was a grin across the majority of his face. My mom said he had all thirty-two of his teeth, even the wisdom teeth. I thought, he needed them all for that sparkling smile.

I’m busy these days with my own two little ten-month-olds, finally understanding the joy that raising children can bring. At times, it’s exhausting and overwhelming, but even then it feels like the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.

Last night we put the babies in the crib. They weren’t tired, so I was singing them Edelweiss. Justin came in and talked to them, “It’s time to sleep little bunnies. Lay your heads down.” His voice soft and gentle and deliberate, reminded me of my dad’s voice. Keith and Lauren bobbed around in their cribs smiling and sleepy at the same time.

I sat in the chair and rocked and read my emails while they settled down. They eventually put themselves to sleep. No crying. Comfort at my presence.

I remember my dad sitting in the corner of our bedroom, in the blue and red painted chair. Telling us stories in the dark. Knowing he was there, I felt safe.

We are raising our kids in a home with quiet and music and parents who are always there. We are hoping to give them the boring, stable life that Justin and I both missed out on for different reasons. It’s a work in progress but we’re on our way.

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