For My Husband
When our kids grew up and left home, my husband, their father, felt a big void, as did I. He was a father who worked ALOT but never missed a soccer game, even being assistant coach a few seasons. He loved watching them play soccer, always seeing his sons as "the best players on the team". It was their connection.....supporting, pushing...maybe too much sometimes, maybe not, being there when a forehead needed stitches and mom was not there. Making sure they had Gatorade and "good cleats"....whatever they needed. Like in most areas where we push ourselves hard, there were times of tension as well.
Back then, back in the day, as they say now, we didn't have an Internet with oodles of "How To Be A Father" articles, "10 Things All Fathers Must Do", and charming videos all over You Tube with dads playing with babies. It just wasn't like that 40 years ago, ya know?
He was "gone to work" in the daytime, so he took diaper duty at night. The son and grandson of a farmer, he was a first generation corporate world dad....no experience, wary, tense in this new environment. But still: Our babies whimpered in the middle of the night and he was at their side, comforting, changing, wiping, powdering. He discovered that taking a colicky baby for a car ride silenced the crying....except at red lights. And walking up and down the driveway at night also helped soothe that baby back into sleep.
Working hard for your family was what dads did back then. Being responsible for the bills, making sure everyone had what they needed....he felt this deeply in his DNA. He would protect and provide for his family. The best he could.
Our marriage combined the very old traditional model of me, Mom, staying home for 10 years to be with the kids, and he, Dad, going out to work. I always told him when he worried, that I was his "ace in the hole", and financially I was, having my own career as the children grew.
Being a Dad is very different in today's generation. Our older son is in process of becoming a first-time Dad himself. His son is due in 14 days! 14 days!!! We will marvel, I'm sure, at how well he does it as he uniquely brings his creativity and heart and wisdom to his new role.
I haven't even mentioned my Dad, his Dad, our Grandfathers. I mean, I/we have a line a gentle giants behind us and I miss all of them this Father's Day. I miss my own Dad the most...he's the first one on the left in this photo...at 16.
So, oh yeah, about the collage. Buddy, our 9 year old Shih Tzu had to fill in. He couldn't fill the void, of course, but at least he was something to hug and love on. And men do that more now, thank God. Buddy has always been a source of unconditional love no matter what. So, like a kid does, I made this collage for Father's Day. And he loves it.