Sunday, June 20, 2010

great dads all around

today is father's day. and i am seriously surrounded, innundated in fact, by amazing dads. my own father, living in toronto, is awesome. we don't have the most conventional relationship- i see him once a year and we speak on the phone every few weeks- mostly so the kids can say 'hi' to him and make his day. we are not superclose, but it's not from a lack of effort on his part. when i was a little kid he thought being a 'great dad' was being the most involved dad in the world. and involved he was! he was at every parent-teacher meeting, every school function, he signed us up for everything from swimming lessons to self-defense classes to piano lessons to girl scouts to korean language classes. we were busy kids, but that's cause he wanted us to be the best kids we could be. he tried so hard. and only now, in my old age am i thankful for his efforts. kids- so ungrateful and unaware... sheesh! sorry dad!

i now have the honor of having two awesome father-in-laws. they are so special to my heart for different reasons. wes, chris' dad, is hilarious, just like his son. hanging out with him is always great fun. the man is talented in a plethora of ways. i got chris a laptop for father's day (he needed it. and would have bought it himself eventually. but he was very happy to unwrap it this morning! boys and their gadgets) anyway, before i made the purchase, wes was the first person i asked for advice. he is a bonafide geek. and proud of it. he is a musical genius, arizona sports fanatic, and a really great grandfather. he LOVES his grandbabies. his idea of love is sharing. he NEEDS to share his favorite shows (LOST!) with the people he loves so they can have even more common ground, and more time to hang out together. big games, big events, small events, everyday, his home is open and he loves to hang out. he is a life-share-er and love-giver.

jerry is a wonderful father-in-law as well. so chill, so hospitable, so loving. he is also a man of many many talents. he works hard at everything he does, whether mowing the lawn every other day (you have to see this man's yard. it is beyond absurd. only lawn that has green grass every day of the year here in the desert. no small feat people.) or fixing a bargain-basement steal of a deal toy for his grandbabies (like their fully operational battery-powered cadillac escalade) or working hard at his job or just loving the little people who bring him so much joy. jerry loves well. you can see it in his wife's countenance, and in my kids' squeals of joy when we pull up to his house and the kids scream out for "nana and papa!!!!" we had the pleasure of going out for dinner with jerry and barb today and we LOVE to hang out with these people. not only are they our family, but they are some of our closest friends. oh love. how great it is.

it is crazy to be surrounded by so many men who show love and speak love as openly as all these men. 
they are such great examples for my kids to be around!

but there is no greater example of love and great daddy-ness than my dear husband (c'mon, you all saw this coming.) oh the love he has for his children! and the love he so freely displays! the kids are never in doubt of his love and affection for them. which is why they favor him so heavily when we are all hanging out together. sometimes it is really hard/impossible for chris to eat a meal cause the kids both want to sit on his lap. they love their daddy!

and every day chris is striving to love his kids better. today he told me that he wanted to make sure that he is aware of who his kids are and to celebrate that. it is too easy to make the kids a portal of all our missed opportunities- to push them to become everything we wanted to be and never became. this is chris' beautiful illustration: he doesn't want to wish for lily to be a rose but then look at her shortcomings in being a rose, because she is in fact a sunflower. instead of focusing on what an ugly rose she is, to recognize that she is a sunflower, and a beautiful one at that. 

father's day is a special one in our household cause there are so many great dads in our lives to celebrate. and don't even get me started on all the great dads, and uncles, that my brothers james, justin, and robert are! we had a great father's day today, we hope you and your family did as well.

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