Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day for Daddies: Sorry ladies, this one's mine!

Happy Father's Day to the wonderful dads in my life!

As a teenager, I used to read anthologies of Gary Trudeau’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon Doonesbury. Because I'm my father's daughter. And because comics are crucial to a well-rounded literary education. Thank you, Dad. I owe you my looks, my sense of humor, and much of my taste in music and reading material. In addition to worthy life lessons, I was taught the value of Calvin and Hobbes at an early age.

I remember clearly one Doonesbury strip, and sadly I can't find it to post here: A father and mother, Rick and Joanie. They are both professionals, writers I think, and a good part of the strip featured their family dynamics and careers. Joanie is bathing their toddler son as Rick looks on.

“Hi” he says, “can I help?”

“No” she replies, “ 'help' implies that the responsibility of caring for our child is solely mine and that you are doing me a favor by offering. Go out and try again.”

Rick goes out and re-enters the bathroom.

“Hi. Can I co-parent?”

“No” says Joanie, “you always get the floor wet”.

Never have I had the feeling that I'm the boss of the kids, while Bob is my junior management lackey. I've heard many women complain that if they want something done regarding their kids' upkeep, had better leave a detailed note card of instructions... or do it themselves. Our girls (babyhood in particular!) seem to require more than average upkeep; the reflux, the dug-in heels, and last month's little episode called "cardiac surgery". In my parenting life, I do not have a "helper". I have a partner, with his own ability to reason through parenthood as well or better than I, with my subjective mommy brain.

There have been some creative clothing combos, but who hasn't made a few of those? You're not going to a wedding, and hey, he dressed the kid. Weather-appropriate and everything. Without being told it was necessary. Chances are he also brushed her hair and made sure she ate, then played with her. Life is good. Daddy is good.
No, Daddy is awesome.

My babies' Daddy does a great job. And not "great" for a dad. GREAT. He functions on a whole different level of parental involvement than the average Dad, leaving me the envy of many of my co-workers with kids and husbands under their management.

And you should see him in a suit. No wonder he got that job offer. Damn. ;-) But I digress...

Nobody deserves a day for himself more than he, my freakin' amazing husband. Diner breakfast, read tech blogs and all morning, organize stuff or garden all day, play video games all night. Or another line-up. Whatever he wants. Of course, we know that Mother's Day and Father's Day are not really intended to please anybody who could still be called "Mommy" or "Daddy". Rather, these Hallmark holidays are for the generations a few steps up. So Bob will be getting his own Father's Day. I'm shooting for some time in July. There will be French Toast and free time, sweetie. Eat it up.

This has been a heck of year and he deserves a day to catch his breath, sit back, and enjoy the life he built so well.

Thank you to Dads I know and love, and good dads everywhere. Particularly you who have little girls. It's commonly thought that women, we formerly little girls, will in some way have our adult relationships shaped by the relationship we had with our fathers. My girls' Daddy has set the bar very high. :-) Heh heh. Good luck with that, all you future boyfriends.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How sweet! Very well written. Spoken straight from the heart! You guys are very lucky and have built a lovely family together, a strong family! I am so happy for you guys. Happy Father's Day.

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