Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 2011: The Here and the Now

I didn't think I needed to write a Father's Day post to The Husband.  I really didn't plan on it, to be honest.

But then, you know, post after glowing post started showing up in my Google Reader - tributes to all the wonderful dads out there, guys who are the type of dads that The Husband is.  Friends and family members are writing Hallmark card worthy status updates on Facebook whereas I'm posting a picture of the kids and calling it a day. 

And I'm sitting here thinking, I'm really such a shit for not doing one of my own.  I didn't buy a gift this year (when the hell the last time I did so is beyond me) and a card?  Well, Betty just made him an animated Dad-inator Phineas and Ferb card on  That counts, right?  And I did make his favorite dinner for dinner (baked ziti).  That counts too, right? Right?

I demonstrated the same behavior last weekend for our anniversary.  No card, no gift (although we were away for a couple days, so that was a gift itself), although we did have dinner out at one of our favorite shore restaurants ... with the kids. 

Because it's not like The Husband doesn't know how I feel, for God's sakes.  Obviously, he knows that I think he is a great Dad and a wonderful husband, yada yada yada, so it doesn't really matter. 

But see, here's the thing:  it kinda sorta does. 

For reasons I don't really want to go into on the blog and Facebook, it matters especially so this year.  After being together for literally half your life, you fall into these sorts of silent, oh,he/she-knows-how-I-feel patterns, despite the irony of the minister at your wedding deliberately changing up your vows and scrapping the to have's and to holds with phrases like "you'll remember the big things like your anniversary, but it's the little day to day things like saying, you matter to me that is the hard stuff." 

You take for granted that things like the laundry will always be done every Sunday of your life, like it has been in mine for 20 years.  (Yes.  Twenty years my husband has been doing my laundry.  Top that, girlfriends.)  You take for granted things like being able to count on your husband to run out to Walgreens for a gallon of milk, or take the boy for a haircut, or to pick up the kids when you're running late, or to remember the sunscreen and apply it better than you, or to take them to the park when you've got a migraine kicking your ass for the third day in a row. 

And these are just the little things.  We're not even going to get into the big deal, lifelong, no-cure-or-end-in-sight things. 

Like parenting a child with autism, for example. 

Like being a hands-on, 24/7 dad when you're living with chronic pain due to not one, not two, but three (at last count) herniated disks.

You take these big and little things for granted until they're not there anymore - or, in our case, not there as much.  For as regular readers and friends know, this year is shaping up to be a doozy for us and one of our most challenging and most vulnerable since the year of Boo's autism diagnosis.  This is a year where we've been parenting by BlackBerry and Skype (when the connection doesn't crap out on us), due to The Husband living more than 6 hours and more than 300 miles away from us.  We've been living this crazy, home-is absolutely-the-Pennsylvania-Turnpike life since February and even though he has been making the trip home every single weekend for five months, this is getting tiresome.  (How the hell people do this in more extenuating circumstances - like all the time or while in the military - is beyond my comprehension.) 

One of my faults is that I tend to focus on anything but the here and the now. 

I procrastinate. (Hence, the no Father's Day card or gift.) 

I fixate a bit too much on the past. (I spent several hours last night trying to figure out - and then find - which photo of my dad, who has been gone 26 years, to use for a Father's Day post.) 

I don't always live in the moment.  (I'm working on that.)

And when you live with one foot in the future and one foot in the past, you're not grounded in the present and you miss saying what needs to be said. 

Which, for this Father's Day for The Husband, goes something like this: 

You're an even better father than I ever imagined you would be, in circumstances that we never imagined would be.

Even though it doesn't always seem like it, you're needed and missed more than you can imagine. 

And you're loved more than you can possibly imagine.

Happy Father's Day. 

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


Florinda said...

What a great tribute. I hope you're glad you wrote this; I'm glad you shared it.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

I'm glad you shared it as well...:)

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Adorable picture and wonderful tribute (ah, but it helps not only to have a great husband but to be able to write about it as well as you do!)

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) said...

That's an adorable picture, and a beautiful tribute. I loved reading it.

Alison said...

That's beautiful. I'm feeling a bit guilty now that I didn't write anything for my husband. We're really fortunate not to be having a year as challenging as yours--and I don't want to take that for granted!

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this, Melissa. It's a great tribute to your hubby. Sending prayers and lots of hope that you will grow ever closer together during this trying time. I hope we meet before you leave, but also hope you are able to leave and be reunited as a family soon!

Also? This...
"And when you live with one foot in the future and one foot in the past, you're not grounded in the present and you miss saying what needs to be said."
That's a good reminder for all of us from time to time.