Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Fathers in My Life Deserve This

Today is Father's Day.  A day that honors fathers and lets them know that they get one day to be celebrated for everything they've done.  Just like mothers get Mother's Day, and grandparents get Grandparent's day.  It's important for these people to know that they should have holidays dedicated to them, to show our appreciation for everything they've done and will do for us.

My kids have an amazing father.  Sometimes, I don't think they realize it, but I know that one day they will.  My daughters will compare the qualities of the men they choose to father their children with the qualities their own father instilled in to them (just like I did when Hubby and I first got together).  My son will remember the tough love he was shown, and the way it changed his life and taught him about unconditional love.

Hubby isn't the lovey-dovey, hugs and kisses, go out and play ball in the yard kind of father some kids have.  I know that my kids often wonder why, or are sometimes a little disappointed that he's not that way.  But, he's not.  There's nothing I can do about that.  BUT, he is the man that the minute he gets home from work is out working on the pool so that it's always ready for them to jump in to.  He's the man that wakes up from only having a couple of hours of sleep to pick them up from school when one has a game or another has some other event or I have meetings to go to.  He's the man that picks them up from school or lets them stay home if they are sick, and takes care of them while they are at home.  He's the man that cooks for them every night, and thinks about foods they'll enjoy.  He's the one that keeps track of our extremely busy calendar, making sure everyone is taken care of when it comes to eating, and that nobody needs to be picked up or taken somewhere if Momma hasn't realized there's a conflict somewhere.  He's the one that has filled their lives with the various electronics that sprawl across their room and the house.  The flat screen TVs they each have, the PS3s they each have, the computers, and PSPs and cellphones.  The one that decides at 8PM that a Sonic shake sounds good, and drives over there to pick one up for everyone.. just because.  All his doing.

There are times when I wish he was more like me when it came to our kids.  At every ball game, at every school event, at all the social gatherings we attend, hugging them when they need a good hug, listening when they need someone to talk to, going out for some fun because I'm bored of sitting around the house... but both of us agreed when we got together that neither would try or be able to change the other one.  And, we keep that promise sacred, because honestly if he were to change there would be a lot I'd miss about who he is right now.

I often don't think my kids realize how much of a father he is "behind the scenes".  Whenever there's something going on with them that they tell me about, I tell him.  Back when Butter had problems with some of his teachers, Hubby was the first to say that he was going to march his behind up to the school to have a little "talk" with a teacher who expects a 5 year old to sit in their chair ALL day without getting up and speaking.  There's been times when Hubby has offered to rally behind them for causes that are important to them.  He gives me his opinions and insights about certain problems the kids have that I put in to practice for him.  He's definitely not a silent partner in this whole parenting thing.  He is the one that forces me to keep quiet when the kids take on some kind of fad that I'm not too happy about, because he believes they should be free to express themselves if it's not causing any harm to anyone.  He is a big proponent to letting them have their free time, and making their own decisions, and letting them be independent (when all I want to do is control everything).  He is VERY involved, just not the way they realize or expect him to be.  

At the end of the day, I was so blessed when he came in to my life.  He cares for and loves our children in his own way, and I know he will do anything he has to do to protect them, make them happy, and ensure that they become independent, successful, and happy adults.

Today is also quite difficult for me, when I think about my own father.

I love that man.  More than he'll probably ever know.  But, because of the "feuding" that's taking place with my mother and me, I haven't spoken to him in some time.  I could try and call him, but I know my father well enough to know that he HATES talking on the phone, and with everything that is going on would probably feel extremely uncomfortable trying to talk to me.  I don't know his feelings about the situation, how he feels, what his opinion is.  I know that he loves my mom and will stand by her no matter what, regardless of whether or not he agrees with her, because that's the kind of man he is.  He is loyal.  And, he should never have to be put in a situation where he has to choose between his wife or one of his kids.  That's why I haven't asked or expected him to do so.

There has been times when he's opened up to me, told me things I didn't expect to hear from the strong, hard shelled man that he is.  But, then I've always known that the hard outer shell is just a front.  The inside is warm, loving, caring, and loyal.  He loves his family.  He protects and defends them.  He does things he doesn't necessarily agrees with or likes doing, but does them anyway because it's expected of him.

Which sounds kind of familiar.  The same qualities that Hubby has when it comes to his own family.

I sent my father a text message this morning to wish him a happy Father's Day.  The one way I know I can reach him, and he'll know that I'm thinking about him today.  I doubt I get a response, but at least he knows that I love him.

It's sad to think about.  Reaching out to my dad through a text message, because that's the only way for me to communicate with him.

During this whole mess, he's the only person that has made me think I should just end the feud.  Just so I can have him back in my life.  But, I know that it wouldn't fix the problem.  I could put a big band-aid over it, never cleaning out the wound, but when the feelings aren't genuine... eventually the band-aid will start to peel off, and the old feelings will rush to the surface.

Which is how my family is used to dealing with problems.  But, I've seen firsthand that pushing issues away like they never happened and moving on just ends up causing bigger problems.  Because the next time someone gets upset, all the old feelings come back to haunt us, used against us, and makes the new problems 100 times worse than they really are.

I am breaking that cycle with my own children.  We don't allow that to happen in this house.  When there's a problem in my house, it gets resolved then and there.  We say what we need to say, we get all our feelings out on the table, and then we figure out the way to make sure that nothing like that happens again.  No pushing them down, no pretending nothing happened.  That's not healthy.  And, that's another credit I can give to Hubby.  He is the one that showed me how important that is.  It's why in the nine years we've been together, we've never really had a "fight".  We've had disagreements, we've got upset with each other, but they've never lasted more than a few hours.  Because he will NOT allow feelings to ferment, to explode.  He expects communication, and problem solving.

I love my dad.  He knows that, I hope.  He has done nothing to me, and I will not include him in the trouble that has become my family relationship.

I just hope that he has a great day today, and knows that I'm thinking about him.

OK, that's enough for me today.  This was supposed to be a nice, happy post... and it didn't come out that way.  So, I'm just going to leave it at that.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the amazing dads out there.


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