Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day: For real dads only

It's Father's Day and here's the thing - a lot of men want to get in on this holiday. 

Have you ever noticed that? 

Oh they don't want to rub the cankles of a pregnant woman or help her feed her frozen yogurt craving at midnight (true story).  They don't want to get up at 2am and feed a baby. 

But they love to step in and quote deeply "Anyone can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a Daddy".  Good for you.  But in my book, if takes someone super special to care for that baby while it's in a growing womb. 

God bless the men and "uncles" who step in and take a child to a ball game or enjoy a fun household chore with little Billy.  You're kind men who do deserve some praise.  But you're still no Father.  Or daddy. 

My husband married an only child.  He being of a family of five.  To find a happy medium in family size may have been a struggle.  But somewhere along the line it was pretty evident - he was going to be a good Father.  And a good Dad.  From the first time he held my hair when puking, it was a certainty. 

When those frozen yogurt cravings kicked in and he had worked a 12 hour day you better believe I ended up with that yogurt.  When it was time to listen to a heartbeat and endure an internal ultrasound, he stayed in the room and cried over the heartbeat.  Bedrest?  He was there.  Various maladies and aches and pains and emotional dips and spins and whirls?  There.  There.  There.  (and there). 

So on a holiday where a lot of men want to take over - men who do good things with children - Transparent LanguageI say step back and let the baby daddy have his day.  If he stuck it out through pregnancy and then walked the floor and went to well child checks and changed a diaper and worked long days only to come home and toss a ball or assemble a bike....he deserves the day. 

My ode to any daddy....who cared for his baby from day one - from the point of conception.  Good job Dad. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

That Girl....and what I know about her

Transparent LanguageMy daughter is a sweet, quiet, book smart type.  She is also a fierce competitor regardless of the sport.  What makes her unique is that none of this is ever personal.  If she wants to win, if she wants an A, if she desires a friend - she does this without guile - it's truly never about besting someone else.  Some call this nice.  Others call it naive.  For now I like it.  (Though, I confess, I don't always resemble it.)

There is this girl.  I know she is out to get my daughter.  She pulls friends away from a group and leaves my daughter standing there.  If they meet on a playing field of some sort and they are opponents it is my daughter I can tell she is aiming at.  When they join forces on a team it's never really a joining, as I can see that this girl is driven by the desire to say she did better. 

My daughter sees none of it. 

My daughter would call her a 'friend'.

My daughter is kind that way.  It's a good kind of naive.

And I'm a mom.  And I want my daughter to succeed.  To have friends, do well, even trounce a few people on occasion when playing a sport.  I openly admit it. 

And because I'm a mom, when I strive to be more like my daughter, what I see in this other girl is a messy family of parents who behave like deviants, of life that rarely includes a meal together, of this notion that if she isn't tops then it's not worth doing.  I see the tears when she fails at something that isn't cry-worthy.  I see a life devoid of church life, or social life beyond athletics or adult (deplorable) behavior.

I really want to be like my daughter.  I have much to learn from her.  And I must recall, whenever possible, to see this girl through my daughter's eyes.  And through the eyes of a mother who truly does know more than what appears on the surface.