Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day 2008

To all you Dad's out there -Happy Father's Day!

And to anyone whose Dad is still living, still with you -whether you really associate with him or not -try to push any differences back to the furthest recesses of your mind and call him. Thank him for giving you the seed that help you begin your journey, if for nothing else.

Relationships -especially family -and all so often between father and child -can often be really rocky, very difficult -for everyone concerned. When a marriage disbands, frequently the Dad is the one who usually gets the short end of the stick, often is the fall guy then for everything that went wrong, from beginning to end.

I'm not saying that sometimes the Dad is the one who caused the bulk -but certainly not all the issues. It DOES take two to tango ya know and it definitely does take two to fight. Yeah, I know from whence I speak there. I'm divorced, have been for 28 years this month, and I was only slightly more innocent in the bad things that happened between my ex and me.

But because I had custody of the kids, because he was involved -always -with another relationship, moved a couple thousand miles away from the kids (and me), he is the one who did really get a short stick there with respect to having a chance to build and maintain a good solid, loving relationship with the kids over a lot of those years. Yes, it was his choice and yes, he could have done more then too in the way of just phone calls, paying a little extra attention to them by simply talking to them once in a while, making the effort to come see them too, but that wasn't how he operated for at least 13 of those past 28 years.

Thankfully, since early fall of 1993, he started to wise up, realized the error of his ways in that respect and has since then tried to improve the way he relates to them -and them to him as a result. No, it's not perfect but it's a whole lot better than it was and now, he generally talks to each of the kids at least once, if not a couple times a month on the telephone. He even tries to make arrangements now too whenever he can afford it to take a week off and come back east to visit with the kids and get acquainted with the grandchildren now too. Considering how his temperment can be at times, the kids recognize now how hard he is trying as do I and all of us are very grateful that the effort is being made to repair years of damage. Things sure could be a whole lot worse ya know!

You've all heard me say before I never knew my Dad -didn't have the opportunity because he died when I was an infant. You know too I was an only child so growing up and when I married, having children and wanting them to have their Dad as part of their lives was uber important to me. I wanted my family to be the kind I'd always dreamed about -some siblings and two parents and of course, some pets too had to be thrown into the mix. The pets I was able to provide for the kids over the years but the relationship I had ached to have as a child with my dad and with siblings -that was more than I could manage to deliver easily then.

Today, my kids are tight with each other -VERY tight, as a matter of fact. My son is on the road for five to six days at a clip but he keeps in close contact with both his sisters and with me and even manages whenever possible to stop by his dad's place in Nevada from time to time to visit him or at least call him. And if he isn't calling his sisters, they call him. He calls home here and talks to me most every day when he's driving that big truck too. Sometimes, things happen that one sister will call him, I happen to call the sister shortly after and she tells me something he's doing and I call him and know where he is and what he's doing before he's even spoken to me. It just works out that way from time to time. Sometimes he appreciates the steady contact -once in a while, it kind of shocks him too that we track him down now and again as well.

But back to Dad's and relationships -if you are really lucky and have a close relationship with your dad, that's fantastic. Do everything you can then to keep it that way. And if it hasn't always been that good between you, extend the olive branch and try to change it cause he isn't always going to be around ya know and most Dad's do try to give their kids the best that they can. We all, each of us, want to be given the benefit of the doubt when there's a falling out but sometimes too, we all have to extend that to the other person.

Might take more than one extending of the olive branch too but face it, someone HAS to be the one to say they are sorry -someone has to be the "adult" whether it be the young adult or the older one, makes no never mind. It's often worth the shot.

Ok, lecture done for today! Let's all love each other and play nice in the playground of life.

This morning, Mandy, Maya and I went to church -nice service, saw many good friends, neighbors, enjoyed a little time to visit with some after church as well before we headed up to the grocery store to pick up stuff for supper and so I could get my Sunday Paper. Priorities, ya know! Gotta have the Sunday paper so I can try to see if I can figure out more than maybe 10 words in the Crossword puzzle each week, ya know.

Got back home and cleared a spot on the dining room table to work on the puzzle while getting in another cup of coffee too. Just getting started on the puzzle and Maya comes by saying she wants to go see the "pretty babies" -meaning she wants to go see the kittens. She heads to my room where they are in the big box with Mama Jorge and I give her the standard lecture not to pick them up! Just pet them nice-nice, softly, easy, ya know. She repeats my instructions back to me too and disappears into my room. I take a nice long sip of the steaming hot coffee and suddenly, here comes Maya, carrying a plastic grocery bag, looped over her arm and she hands it to me.

"Here, Grammie. Baby kitty in a bag," she tells me! Now that got my attention really fast as I got the plastic bag away from her, open it and look inside and sure enough, there's the smalller grey kitten -the one that is usually the "cry baby" of the bunch, no less, but it's being really quiet. I reach in and gently retrieve it and it snuggles up against my chest -no crying though - but probably had had the living crap scared out of it when Maya had picked it up and dumped it in the bag to start with, so that may be the secret to keeping that kitten quiet then. Just casually insert kitten into grocery store bag and carry it around that way! (Trust me, the kitten is ok!)

Mandy cooked breakfast while this was all taking place -really good, crisp bacon and French toast -which everyone except Kurtis enjoyed eating. He was much happier to sit in the high chair and pick up little pieces of his French toast and bacon that I had broken up for him to make it easy-to-eat finger food and then flick each bite-sized bit of bacon or French toast off his finger and make it go sailing across the dining room table. You try taking a bite of food or a sip of coffee and suddenly something goes whizzing by the end of your nose!

After eating, Bill took Maya out in the back yard and they had some really great father-daughter time doing this:


After doing the swing thing for a while, Maya donned her swim suit and took a dip in the little kiddie pool in front of the house. Kurtis, by the way, slept through the swinging and the pool thing -mainly because he is terrified this year of both of those things! Last summer, he liked to be put on the little baby swing, this year, he screams. Last year, when he couldn't even walk, he loved being in the pool with Maya, this year, his legs curl up as soon as you touch his toes to the water and he screams bloody blue murder! Go figure, huh?

Bill set up the canopy tent I got, put the table up inside it along with the glider from my aunt's house and now, we're all set for our evening meal - a nice cookout that Bill's doing with the steaks I got this morning at the store.

Here's what our "picnic area" in the back yard looks like now too.


And here's the new location of the fire pit too. It was way down in the back yard before, but Bill cleared out what had been a sandbox he had set up for the kids -but which the neighbor's cats kept coming over and using as their own personal sandbox -and moved the burn drum up there so after we dine in our fancy tent, we can move our folding chairs over to the area around the burn pit and toast marshmallows to our hearts' content, can't we?
It's nothing fancy, for sure -but it will serve our purposes fine and dandy and provide for a nice, cool place to sit outside; a place to eat and just enjoy some good, clean family pleasure.

Now, my supper's done -time to grab the chairs and go chow! Hope all of you -especially you Dad's - have a super Happy Father's Day -and just like birthdays -have many more to come!

5 comments:

Razor Family Farms said...

I love that fire pit! My husband would flip if he saw it. There would be a chorus of "I want that! I want that!"

I love that your children are very close. I think that's wonderful!

Blessings to you!
Lacy

dr sardonicus said...

I had a nice chat with my father yesterday. We're 300 miles apart now, and we don't get to see each other nearly as often as we'd like.

Two weeks ago, my folks celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary as well.

RuneE said...

Father's Day in Norway is on the second Sunday of November, and is mostly looked upon as instituted for commercial purposes. It is thus mostly celebrated in a quiet way involving cakes, flowers and home-made things by the children. I have four of them, so I ought to know. That doesn't mean that we don't appreciate our fathers (or mothers) - only we try do show it every day. A hug is a great thing.

PS Thank you for sopping by my blog and for the pleasant comment!

Mary said...

Jeni,

This is a wonderful post about the closeness of family. I'm so glad that you all keep in close contact.

Love the photos of Maya swinging and spending time with Bill. Kids should be our top priority and that is why yesterday the work waited and the grandsons went swimming. The work will be here long after I'm gone in one form or the other and the boys will have some great memories of fun times.

The firepit and your tent look like a wonderful place to spend time this summer. Enjoy!

Blessings,
Mary

the mother of this lot said...

Love your picnic area Jeni. And I agree with eveything you said about Dads. I only wish I still had mine.