Benjamin had an intermittent tummy ache all day today. I was grateful that with time and Kytril it dissipated before our Father’s Day low country boil. Earlier, Benji had begged for a bike ride, so we went to the store a few blocks down the road. By the time we got there I was wondering if I’d made a terrible choice. He looked so tired and pale. He is coming off of four rounds of intense, high dose chemotherapy, and a weekend of hard play. But we made it home, with Benji in the lead, and he took care of himself with lots of water, quiet time, and a warm bath. He even asked for glutamine, something I usually have to negotiate. When it was time to welcome Michael’s mother and sister for dinner, Benji was feeling himself again, spunky and ready for his favorite meal.
I enjoyed the opportunity today to reflect on fatherhood. As the mother of two boys, I am often amazed by my great fortune in raising children whose lineage of male ancestors is consistently top notch. They come from grandfathers and great grandfathers who are good, solid, creative, humble, intelligent, gentle, strong, kind and caring men. But when I am charged with the task of putting into a gift, or into words, the gratitude I feel for their father–my husband–I come up short. There is just no way to do it. The card I bought for Michael lies unwritten on my desk.
Instead, I used the now traditional Father’s Day nap time to put together a quick collection of some of my favorite photos and videos from Michael’s parenthood. His actions speak for themselves. He raises his sons with consistency and humility, with strength and sweetness, with humor and sensitivity. The love is so clear. It isn’t guarded, or reserved, or doled out. It is just there. And nothing has made me fall deeper in love with my husband than his partnership since Benjamin’s diagnosis.
I have written before about the sympathy I feel for single parents caring for critically ill children. I have also written about the striking percentage of folks going through divorces on the online moms’ group. I know how lucky I am. Michael is more than just a partner to me, more than a coparent with whom I share duties. Michael is my friend, and he is Banyan’s friend, and he is Benjamin’s friend. He inspires me to be a better parent, and a better person. Over dinner tonight, we talked about seemingly random events that could result in unexpected outcomes. There are an infinite number of decisions I could have made that would have led me away from choosing Michael to father my children. I give thanks for every seemingly random event that was directed, unbeknownst to me, by a very generous divinity.
Happy Father’s Day to the very best father, grandfathers, and great grandfathers two little boys could ever have.