Friday, June 16, 2006

Irreversible

Crazy Train (of thought)

We were seated at a great table at the end of the restaurant deck, overlooking the Nassau harbor. We were tired from our walk/cab ride and the shopping in the straw market, and all looked forward to good fried seafood, the kind on a heaping platter served with cole slaw and fries. And what are fries without ketchup? When our food arrived Meagan reached for the bottle, who knows how long it had been sitting in the sun, and shook it good before opening it. Suddenly I heard a small explosion, like a mortar discharging, and felt slime on my face and forearms. I looked down at my chest and saw red goo everywhere. “I’ve been hit,” I yelled, and looked up to see that Meagan had fermented ketchup dripping from her hair. It took us about 20 minutes to get cleaned up and an hour for all of us to stop laughing.

Marital Bliss

Jill and I spent lots of time in Atlantis sitting outside in the gentle rain at the pool, protected by canopy chairs, reading and holding hands. Our marriage will last forever because we do one very important thing – we spend time together, doing things together. I don’t go fishing or hunting, leaving her to go shopping or to play cards with the neighborhood women. I don’t watch TV unless she is alongside me, and she doesn’t go visit her parents without me. It is togetherness that helps us grow more in love. Separation to pursue one’s own interests fosters distance, and we’ll have none of that. Yes, our marriage will last forever. That’s why “Irreversible” is engraved inside our wedding bands.

Kid-bytes

The girls have been asking me what I want for Father’s Day, and have suggested I get such things as an iPOD, clothes, camera accessories, a massage, or a fine bottle of wine. I appreciate their thoughtfulness but have declined all these suggestions. Instead, I want their time. This Sunday, when they return to our home, I’m having a dinner prepared by Meagan’s hand, and we all will enjoy it on the patio where we will just talk. We’ll talk about our recent vacation, our trip to Boston next month, our favorite things about each other, and what we like about being a family. We did this at Thanksgiving, and we stayed up until nearly 1:30 sharing from the heart. Yes, that’s all I want. Their time, and the wonderful memories I’ll be left with.

Book Report

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s Part IV and the last installment of the daily excerpt from the introduction of my book, WHY A SON NEEDS A DAD. This book has been on the New York Times Best-Seller list and USA Today’s Top 100 list. I hope you have enjoyed reading the introduction:

On my mantle, next to a high school portrait of my mom and amid many photographs of my daughter, sits a picture of my dad and me in the front yard of my parents’ first house. He is squatting down, his arms wrapped around me as I stand between his knees. Sometimes as I reflect on what is important to me, I stand before this mantle and look at those photographs, realizing how blessed I am to have these loving parents and this wonderful child. As I think of the difficult years of my youth, I think that perhaps I owe my parents, especially my dad, an apology, but know that they would wave me off and accuse me of being silly. I think of things I would like to do for them, and I look forward to each time I hurry my daughter into the car and make a trip to the home I left so many years ago. I am eager to get there, to kiss Mom, and to sit on the front porch and talk with my dad.

Now having come full circle as a son who once worshipped, then disfavored, and now deeply admires his dad, and being a father trying my best to parent but finding myself always second guessing my abilities, I wonder if my teenage daughter will ever look at me with dancing eyes again. I think the role of being a dad is the greatest challenge and the highest reward a man can have. Reflecting on my dad and me, I know my child and I will have a wonderful, loving and long-lasting relationship because my dad and I have one. I know that in the end I will be satisfied with my performance as a dad because my dad showed me how to do it. And I can believe that I have been a good son because my dad tells me so. I love you, Dad, I do. And I am proud to be your son.

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