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June 19, 2010


I used nearly an entire role of duct tape that day. Medieval weaponry is what you get when you show them a clip of the movie Troy.

But it was worth it. For over an hour they ran around like mad men shouting "HECTOR," kicking the air, spearing weeds, and throwing small walnuts and blocking them with cardboard shields. I even saw Lidia dive for cover behind a tree trunk when there was nothing that I could see coming at her.

Two of my boys and three of their cousins camped out in our back yard the previous day, after an extended family trip to the pool. We partied hard on into the night. On the itinerary was frog catching, flashlighting, fireworks, and a camp fire. We ate, read, and prayed before finally signing off. We fell asleep, the six of us sardined into a hot tent smelling of gun powder and dead lightening bugs.

All smells aside, I didn't rest so well. I forgot to bring the small soft blanket that I usually use to shield light from my eyes. Amy calls it my "wubby", though I've never called it that. Any hint of sound also awakens me. I hate it, especially with the kind of days a parent of young kids typically has. But this time, I relaxed as brightness trickled into the tent. I listened to the birds in peace. It was the first time in a long while that I did that and thought "it's okay."

That was my fathers day gift.

You can't Paypal getting to goof off with your wife and kids and having quiet solitude. I usually have to pay off the debt later with dizzying fatigue and sometimes grouchiness, which usually isn't such a good thing for the family.

But this was Dad's day. I didn't have to work or follow through with any agenda or "to do" list. Amy is always happy to give some relief from the kids when I need it. Later, I could play with the family or I could rest. Tonight I opened a package of alone time with my thoughts, books, and computer.

What more could a dad ask for, especially one who doesn't enjoy eating out or cooking on a grill, golfing or watching sports on TV? Surely I have my consumerist weak points (like basketball sneaks), but overall I don't look or act much like the dads in the JC Penny flier.

Some would think that's all pretty lame and ask "but what do you do for fun? I can understand that perspective. But I have to add that there's time for other things; a little right now and (Lord willing) a lot later. Much of being a dad is the fun. Besides, what's a dad supposed to say on the day he gets to do what he wants? Say "it's fathers day, seee-ya, suckahz, ha ha" as the base booms and the SUV screeches out of the driveway?

On my day, I want to be with them doing something they enjoy. No doubt. I would also really enjoy a good rest. And more than a ball game or mountain bike ride with my homies, today I think I need time to sit and read and reflect. The blogging is always therapeutic.

"Oh. You shouldn't have."

Thanks Amy, L, O, B, and M. This day and all days.

1 comment:

Sam Van Eman said...

Cool tunnel photo, Bob, and it looks like a great place to play.

Happy belated Father's Day. I'm glad it was a good one.