Today is Father's Day.
I am going to dinner with my mom and dad and brother tonight. I am still scrambling trying to find a gift for my dad, not just one gift- 2...'cause tomorrow is his birthday. He is an impossible man to buy anything for. He never gives you any ideas so I am completely on my own. I have been looking for something for 2 weeks now and can't find anything that I think he might want. It's his 65th birthday which is a big deal. Apparently he didn't want a party or anything, and since it might be a big deal for him (not necessarily in a nice way) I don't know whether to make an event of it or not. If I don't do what he wants, he will be disappointed, and if I do something that he didn't want, he will be mad. So much pressure. I just want him to be happy and have a good couple of days and to know that I love him.
I have talked about my dad in previous posts. He is a regular guy. I mean that in the best way possible. He is blue collar, rough around the edges, regular kind of guy. He watches fishing shows, drinks his coffee black.
My dad was so excited when I went to school for fish and wildlife technology. I think I disappointed him when I didn't get a job in the field. He actually went out and bought me a present for that first Christmas- a tackle box with lures and line and hooks and the whole she-bang. That I used to go nightfishing and would bring home pictures of all the things I caught and the places I went...I think it was about the only thing in my life that I did that my dad could live vicariously through me, and that he truly understood.
My dad has no idea what it is that I do for a living. He saw something on the news about PRESTO, and that was when he realized that my client was a real thing, and not just someting that I made up.
My dad works in my yard, all the time, without me asking. He makes me worry because I don't want him pushing himself too hard. I worry that my dad thinks that I am lazy, because I can't keep up with the yard work on the schedule that he thinks should be set. I can't always cut my grass when it gets to a certain length, I can't always trim the hedge, or clean the gutters. I don't have the money to plant flowers and the garden the way that I want and I don't have the time to weed as often as I should. But he steps in, in his quiet way, and does what needs to be done. I just get the silent judgement later. :) Just kidding, daddio.
My dad likes to watch movies and I like trying to find them for him. The last couple of years, he has set a challenge for me, with movies he wanted me to find. The first year was Jeremiah Johnson. Nailed it. The second year was The White Buffalo with Charles Bronson. Found it and who cares that it has weird, Russian subtitles? I can't wait to see what he wants this year. :)
I would love to take my dad to Vegas. It won't happen but I would like it. I want to take him deep sea fishing and whale watching. I would like to take him on an African Safari. I want to buy a cottage with a small motor boat, just for him. I want to ...I want to.... I want to....
I think about losing him, especially after Kit. My dad has diabetes and has had it for years and years. He does amazing. He is so disciplined and avoids all the foods that he can't have. He took a bite of birthday cake on Sawyer's first birthday. That is the first that I have seen him take in at least 10 years. He didn't even drink at my wedding. But the man of steel, indestructable as he may seem is only human. And I worry. I try not to think about it too much. It just makes me sad and scared.
Anyway, Happy Father's Day, Dad...I will be there later for chinese.
Geoff has to work today. I gave him his gifts yesterday, since I knew today would probably be a rough one for him. I figured his day could be separate from today. That way he could be happy and enjoy without the guilt. He is a good dad and he deserves to be happy and to know that his kids love him, with all their heart. Sawyer's face and heart light up when he comes home. Sebastian wants to be him and mimics things that he says and does constantly. I don't think Geoff realizes how much influence he has over the kids. I don't think he sees it.
I know Geoff struggles with Sebastian and his challenges. Sebastian is definitely not the son that he imagined when he knew that little baby born 10 years ago was a boy. I am sure he envisioned going to soccer and baseball games, talking football and comics, taking him to comic conventions, and watching TV together. Maybe he thought he would be an artist or a writer, and Geoff could help him figure out what his style was, and introduce him to all of the artists that he knows.
Geoff struggles with conversations with Sebastian. He gets frustrated when Sebastian doesn't listen, or do what he should be doing. There is much that drives him crazy, makes him mad, makes him sad.
But he tries to be a good dad. Even though Geoff doesn't like to go outside and play, he will push himself to do it. He is their favorite toy on the trampoline, he has those kids bouncing around like pinballs. And they laugh and laugh. The very best pictures he takes (in my humble opinion) are of the kids. I think that is because his passion and love for the kids is captured in that split second shot. He has inflused his love of all things comics in Sebastian and even Sawyer (who at 2 can name Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and WonderWoman, among others.) And when Sebastian picked WonderWoman as his favorite, Geoff never blinked. He connects to him through the things they both love- toys, superheros, movies...
He is a good dad. A great dad.
He has a special connection with Sawyer. I went back to work when Sawyer was 10 months old, because Geoff was getting laid off. And he spent the next year and a half home with her. She loves her daddy like crazy, and even though they drive each other nuts, there is a bond there, between daddy and daughter, that I can't touch. I am a little jealous. But I am so glad it exists. I know she will grow to be embarrassed by her dad, and to get mad at him, and to fight and ignore and think that he is silly and stupid and old. But I hope, deep down, that bond will survive, and when that rebellious teenager turns eventually into a beautiful young woman, she will turn again to her daddy. I know it will happen. And I'm glad.
Of course, today can't pass without thoughts of Kit. Our first Father's Day without him. While Father's Day was never a huge day for us, you can't help but think of him and all the "should have beens". I know today is hard for family, and I suspect it always will be. Holly has mentioned an idea to me, that I think is great, and we might be starting a new family tradition. I am thinking of you often, Kit, and we miss you.
Well, the morning is done, and I have lots to do...time to get moving. Happy Father's Day- to my dad, to Geoff and to Kit. May you all rest easy, knowing that the kids you have raised and are raising are good, and healthy. Know that you are loved deeply and wonderfully. Know that you are heros in the eyes of your kids and in our own ways, every day, we strive to be as great as our dads.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never thank you enough, Dad."