Sunday, June 21, 2009
There is no doubt about it, Dave is the more nurturing of the two of us. I see it in the way he deals with the kids when they are sick and the way that he deals with me. I have always felt like I am missing a female gene, because it took me so long to want to have kids and once I had them, I felt very inept handling them. Not Dave though. He held our children with tremendous confidence from day one. Where as I handled them like they were made of finely spun glass, he handled them like a football player cradles a ball. His sureness gave me the time to find my own confidence, which came through experience and learning.
I've often wondered whether this difference in us is nature or nurture. As the youngest of five children (by 11 years), he had nine nieces and nephews by the time our first child was born. I was the oldest of two children and one of the first of my friends to have kids, so I didn't have any practice. But then again, I didn't really have interest either. To this day, wherever we go, babies stare Dave down. It's almost like they are daring him to interact with them and when he does, it usually results in giggles and smiles on both sides.
My own dad is probably more like me in the baby-friendliness department, but some of the better traits that I have come from him. He's something of a modern day renaissance man, equally at home reading poetry and skeet shooting, building furniture and cooking dinner, restoring antique cars and singing doo-wop hits of the fifties. The fact that I have a tiny fraction of his ingenuity helps me to be feel confident in situations where I might otherwise falter.
My brother has a son who was born a little more than a year after my second child. He is a quirky and funny little guy and I completely adore him. There are so many things that he does that remind me of my brother. Their close relationship is a joy to watch and I know that it is the reason for their similarity. My brother is a dedicated player and fan of sports, but even so, he never pushed his son into any interests that he did not feel a connection to . And while I know that he would have been the ideal little league coach, he has always respected his son for who he is and just lets him be.
So on Father's Day I offer this tribute to three of the dads that have made an impact on my life.
There have been many others that I have admired; grandfathers, stepfathers, neighbors and friends, far more than I could write about in this small space. But I wish all of them the happiest of Father's Days and appreciate what they have brought to my life.
Well, that's it for the sentimentality. I believe this puts me over my annual quota. I'll be back early in the week with more of the snark and crankiness that is characteristic of this blog. For today you have to take the sweet, the reverent, the appreciative. Which, while out of character for me, is not entirely implausible. Is it?
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!