Everlasting Memories Blog About Life, Loss and Everything In Between
Let me tell you a secret
Ahhhh….mid-June. I am definitely all in for summer mode. I’ve got one that finished up school today and then that’s a wrap. Not to say that I won’t be busy but the in and out of the car, the early mornings of leaving the house by 6:30, rushing back for pick-ups, so on and so forth - those things are officially done. I’m looking forward to not being quite so scheduled and segueing into the summer with a little less frenzy.
This is also one of my most favorite weekends of the year. Father’s Day is June 17, this upcoming Sunday. And, yes, we all know I love Mother’s Day but Father’s Day is really a close second. Maybe it boils down to the fact that I think being a parent is one of the hardest jobs there is. Maybe it’s my love for my own dads and what a tremendous dad my Rob is and my brother is to his children. Maybe because hey - it’s a celebration and what goes good with celebrating? Titos and his friend soda! So yeah, I’m all about Father’s Day for sure.
About a father's love
So in honor of Father’s Day, to all the amazing, incredible, thoughtful, sacrificing, providing dads out there, this one, sir - this one is for you!
The Roles of Dad
Our dads wear a lot of different hats for sure. They take on many roles throughout their children’s lives and as the course of life changes, so does that hat. Take a look.
I think in the early parts of childhood a lot of dads take on the role of observer. Watching carefully and observing their children. How the diaper is changed. How to cradle the head when you pick them up. How to egg roll them nice and securely in their blankets. Not to say that our daddy’s are not hands on - I just think that in the beginning a lot of dads do a lot of observing so that they make sure they get it right. And they observe as their children grow - watch them problem solve, figure things out, find their way, giving them a hand to hold when needed and a voice of reason when necessary.
And I said, he's mine that one
Oh how I love this one because most dads I know are constructors. They pull out the inch thick manual that is included with the kitchen set, the Playskool work bench, the Lego pirate ship and everything in between and they get it put together. No matter the pieces left over, the ‘spare’ parts that don’t have a home, the stickers that need to go on just so, the trebuchets and over the top projects for school, our dads are fabulous at conjuring, creating and constructing those necessary evils that are a part of childhood.
One of the most important roles of dad and one of the most primitive. Our dads are protectors. They are dragon slayers, boogey man chasers, safe haven providers. They do all they can to protect us not just physically from danger but also protect us from the emotional rigors of childhood - broken hearts, failed dreams, the realization that life is hard. They will go to battle for us and do all they can to protect us from harm of any sort to the best of their ability. Even when the way in which they protect means they have to take a step back and watch as their child learns the hard way. Yep, dad is a warrior ready for battle when it comes to his babies.
My goodness do our dads like to teach…(insert eye roll). Our dads know stuff and they love to share that knowledge with their youngsters. Often times repeatedly and at really annoying times when you just want to watch the show and not be taught the history behind it. They teach us how to change a tire, open the door for a girl, have a firm handshake and look someone in the eye. Our dads are professors of war, teaching us that you have to fight for what you want in life and that you stop at nothing to get it. Dad is an instructor of demonstrating the correct way to bench press and do bicep curls…although he could probably take a lesson or two himself in jumping rope…jus sayin. But you get the idea - our dads know a lot about a lot of things and they are great at teaching us the ropes of life.
Bear with me for a minute while I explain. In my opinion, a father is the exemplifier for his children. He is the living, breathing example of what his sons want to be when they grow up. The way they live their life, treat their friends, honor their word and their commitments to others. He exemplifies what his definition is to be a man, to have integrity and honor, and how to raise a family. If he’s a good daddy, it is the most important gift he will ever give his sons and will create the foundation from which they will build their own families.
We won't back down cause we are brave
And he exemplifies what his daughters should look for in a partner, in a companion, in a male friend. Dads are the living example of how their daughter should be treated based off of the way they treat their spouse, the example of how they love and operate as a team. He is the definition of being strong and independent, exemplifying to his daughter that she is good enough, more than enough, strong and independent enough to do it on her own. Because in all reality, no man is good enough for his daughter. It will take a very special man to win that prize.
There goes my life
What I’ve learned about Fatherhood
Well, I am a sponge and I have soaked up a lot of knowledge about fatherhood over the past 19 years. A. Lot. And let me tell you, the lessons have been eye-opening, laughter inspiring, brought me to tears and humbled me countless times.
Dad’s don’t know everything
Our dads are pretty smart but they sure don’t know it all. They get it right a lot of times but there are times where they have to go from being the teacher to being the student. That can be a journey for the dads out there that are unaccustomed to that role or uncomfortable in that role but it is a necessary part of their evolution as fathers.
The Unknown - My World
My Rob - he loves the sport of ice hockey. Loves it. In fact the first thing we ever bought when we found out I was pregnant was a teeny tiny pair of hockey skates. Well, our Lex, she loved hockey from day one. CJ, not so much. He wanted to play football in first grade, not hockey. And it went over like the proverbial lead balloon. And when I tell you Rob and I went to battle over it, it was like the Civil War in this house. In the end, what CJ wanted prevailed and he has been playing football now for 11 years and will go into his senior year as one of four captains for his high school team. He is being recruited to play football in college and that combined with his grades should allow him to continue to pursue a sport that he loves more than any other and get an incredible education. He fought for his ‘want’ to play and Rob eventually got on board and coached him up through 8th grade and continues to be his biggest fan.
You're gonna be so stubborn
You get that from your mother
Dad’s are tireless
I don’t know how they do it but they are tireless when it comes to their children. No matter how long their day is, how tired they are, how much of their own stuff they want to get done - they continually put it aside and are tireless in their efforts to give to their children. Time and time again, they put their children first and ‘do’ for them what needs to be done.
Energizer Bunny - My World
I mentioned Rob’s love for hockey and several years ago, he constructed a rink for our backyard. What started as fairly small and rinky-dink eventually grew to an ice rink that was 38 feet wide by 80 feet long. The sides had two foot boards so you could bounce the puck off and the corners were rounded so that the puck wouldn’t get stuck in the corners. We had two regulation size nets and telephone poles on the hill in the back with parking lot style lamps that lit up the entire backyard. He would come home from working 16 hours and at 11 pm at night, go out and make ice so that when his daughter wanted to skate the next day, she had fresh ice to do so. He spent hours perfecting that rink. Time where he could have been doing his own thing but instead, he was tireless in giving her a rink that he felt she was deserving of.
It won't be like this for long
Dad’s are softies
You can have the hardest core dad out there but when it comes to their children, lots of them are big ole softies. They can go from being the man of steel to being soft as butter in the amount of time that it takes a child to smile and reach for their hand. As much tough guy as they seem at times, when they let down their guard and show their heart to their children - it’s a beautiful thing.
Marshmallows Galore - My World
My Rob is a bit scary. Not to me but a lot of other people find him intimidating. Shrug. And when it comes to his youngest, his Jax, Rob is a big squishy marshmallow. When we were deciding to try for another baby Rob said to me, “I love them so much. I think the best gift we can ever give our children is another sibling.” That young man of ours, our Jackson, was the result, the gift that came out of that conversation. And he has been one of the biggest factors in Rob maturing into fatherhood. Jackson has brought out the joy, the simplicity of fatherhood for Rob. It doesn’t hurt that Jackson is a visual mini-me of Rob - they walk the same, talk the same, eat the same. But that kid - my husband has a soft spot for him and it has enabled him to take a softer approach at life, not view things quite so seriously or so black and white. And that is a good thing.
We like fixing things and holding mama's hand
I am lucky enough to have two dads. One, my birth father, I connected with a couple of years ago after having been estranged for over 15 years. And that journey of getting to know each other, learning about each other has been a gift for the past two years. It was not a perfect process, those years of growing up without each other and that is okay. I don’t dwell on what we didn’t have at that time and, instead, focus on my gratitude for the presence he is in my life now. And that even after all those years, the love and the bond between father and daughter is still there.
I know I can't turn back time
We'll slow it down while we can
And my dad, my step-dad, well he’s been a part of my life since I was in second grade. He has been instrumental in so much of whom I am, my integrity as a person and the joy with which I live my life. Without question, he is someone whom I modeled my choice of partners after as his love for his family is deep and rooted - just as it is with my Rob. And I love and miss him so much.
And I believe in you
My brother, Casey, truly is one of the best dads I know. He is the very definition of tireless in teaching his children about love, loyalty, respect and living your life to the fullest. You walk a way from spending time with him feeling like a better person, knowing in your heart that that time - it was time well spent. And what a gift that is for his children to grow up with him as a role model, a parental figure, a guide throughout their life. One of my best friends and a fabulous father.
Daddy's don't just love their children every now and then
And last but never least - my Rob. Fatherhood has been a journey for him. His relationship with each of the three is so very different and unique and I know that they all take a part of him with themselves as he does a part of each of them. I think what he fails to realize is that it is not my approval they are seeking in life - it is always his. And always will be. He is just that type of man, a man that you want in your corner, that you want to make proud, that you want to honorably and justly represent that name on the back of your shirt.
It's a love without end, Amen
What they don’t realize is that he feels the same. That they, his children, have been and will always be the best thing he has done RIGHT in his life. That being a man worthy of being their father is always his driving force and that helping them to succeed in life, to live with intent and honor and integrity, to serve others and to be loyal to one another and to realize that it is the three of them against the world. That he wakes up each day determined to do his best at giving them the best version of himself possible. And will do so for the rest of his life.
Fathers are so special. Not perfect but important. They wear lots of different hats, take on lots of different roles and, for many, are the very ruler by which we measure the success in our life. Don’t forget to let them know. Hug them, call them, make time for them. Honor them. If it’s not your own dad, find a dad out there that has made a difference in your life and let him know.
To all the men in my life, my dads, my Rob and the countless other fabulous fathers that I know - Happy Father’s Day 2018!
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