Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

To my readers who are fathers or who have fathers, I wish you a very happy Father's Day! As well as being a day to make Dad a special lunch and watch him read (or try to decipher) home made cards and unwrap messy but very well-taped packages, Father's Day is a day when I am particularly grateful for the two incredible fathers in my life -- my own wonderful daddy, and my darling Ed.

My daddy is and always has been a really terrific father. I have been told (I don't actually remember this) that he was not a modern "diaper changing" dad, but aside from that early squeamishness (and he was very young at the time), he has always been a surpassingly dedicated daddy. I sometimes tease him that my primary memory of childhood is of fishing with him in our very tiny boat in the alligator infested Loxahatchee River, but mostly this is just a tease (I'm not sure how much of this memory -- terrified little me huddled in a flimsy canvas boat with only a few inches separating us from the hordes of enormous, ravenous gators, while my oblivious daddy fishes -- is real and how much is embellishments, but it is vivid!). He read to us every evening, and when I read The Hobbit or The Wind in the Willows or anything else he read, I do my best to imitate his rhythm and inflections. He has a wonderful reading voice. He regularly took his children fishing, clamming, and oystering with him, usually one-on-one (and mostly Not in the Loxahatchee, thank goodness!). When we hiked together, he pointed out and named the various trees and shrubs, and if my memory were better, I would now be quite knowledgeable about flora and fauna. He is now a great grandpa (Paba!) to my children, and gives me good advice on gardening and home repairs (when asked). Although he is a skeptic about some of the things that I hold dear (God, homeschooling, Harry the cat), his questions and differing point of view help me clarify a little to myself, though not to him, what I believe, and that is a good thing. He doesn't always agree with me, but I always know he loves me.

The wonderful father we are celebrating in this house today is, of course, my sweet Ed. He was a diaper changing daddy from the word "go," and he has yet to be defeated by any childhood yuckiness (though he does despise Play-doh). He is courageous when it comes to accosting strange parents to arrange for playdates, and fearless about accompanying his pathetically shy wife to homeschool group meetings (even though he knows he will be the Only Guy attending). He plays Barbies with K., which, given Barbie's current soap-opera-tangle of relationships (we may have provided a little too much information to the children about what was going on with their favorite uncle's now defunct marriage), is parental devotion at its finest! He is the "let's turn on the tv and sack out on the couch" parent, but that provides a good balance to my "you have a stack of books to read, and sticks and stones to play with in the backyard -- what more do you need?" approach. He has the patience to play video games with T. that I just can't play, and to read aloud to K. the ScoobyDoo and the Doughnuts book (I don't know how that book slipped in to the house!) that I can not stand to read. He is truly a good father, and we are lucky!


Emily said...

Happy Father's Day! What a wonderful post. You and the kids are so very fortunate to have such great fatherly influences!

Jules said...

Oh I love this post! It is the kind of stuff I can't usually write very well.

Your dad and Ed sound like great fathers. Aren't we lucky to have great men in our lives? ;)

Melora said...

Emily & Jules,
Thanks. Yes, I am very lucky to have these two marvelous fathers!