Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I think it's safe to say, few of us ever know how we'll handle a new situation once it's upon us. I know in my experience, I can have great intentions, but the proof doesn't show up until the actual occasion comes.

Parenthood was very much that way. When I was pregnant I had lots of daydreams about Matthew or myself, playing with a baby, bathing a baby, feeding a baby. Always, in these mental vacations, we were laughing, tender, loving- sometimes there might have been a soundtrack from a Hallmark card commercial playing in the background.

Now the baby is here, the reality has manifested itself, and there isn't a soundtrack playing. Besides that one point, most days are not that different from my mental pictures.

I was reminded of this a few nights ago. After Dory's delicious dinner of pureed squash and Cheerios, while I tended to the aftermath of dinner and dishes, Matthew and she played their newest game. Imagine a five foot ten, thirty-two year old man squatting behind a dining room chair while a Little One bobs back and forth, as he asks...

Is she over here...?

Is she over here...?

There she is!

Now picture it over and over and over...

Dory would play this game all night long, but eventually it was bath time. As Matthew hoisted her up into his arms and carried her down the hall, I heard him making up lyrics to his newest baby tune: "We're gonna give you a baby bath/We're gonna give you a baby bath/ Whyyyyy?/ Because you're covered in slime/ Oh, yeah, you're covered in slime." (I think we should trademark that one...)

What a treat for me, when the kitchen looked a little less like the remains of a cereal bomb and a little more like a kitchen, to hurry down the hallway and catch the end of bath time.

What a treat, what a pleasure, when daydreams turn into reality.

Happy Father's Day to that bearded man o' mine.

And Happy Father's Day to my own wonderful Pops, without who I wouldn't know most of the literature I do, feel the need to sketch out a detailed story when I'm explaining it, sing loudly and badly and proudly, or insist on reading funny stories out loud, only to become so overcome with laughter a few sentences in, I have to stop and let someone else finish.

And Happy Father's Day to Aaron, and Dave H, and Dave S, and Brig, and Randy, and Jacob, and John, and Steve, and Bill, and the many, many, many amazing men in this world for whom the title "dada" rests proudly on their shoulders- and sometimes covers their eyes and pulls their hair and shrieks in their ears. I wish a grand day for all you fellas.

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