To a Father

It took time for me to wrap my head around Father’s Day.

Growing up, my single mother would generally ask my brother and me to acknowledge her on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  It always felt obligatory, and our gifts therefore bordered on the snarky if not condescending.  And while it is true we grew up without a father in our life, our mother was not our father.  That piece was missing; and all the toolsets and Father’s Day cards we purchased for her would not make it any different.

Fast-forward many years to June 2001, my husband’s first Father’s Day.  We were foster parents, and by then I had a front-row seat to what fatherhood should look like.

Fatherhood is all-encompassing, self-deprecating, and without ego.  It is silly and playful and gentle and kind; it is showing instead of telling and taking deep breaths and rolling up your sleeves.  Most importantly it is being present, respecting each child’s individuality, and putting someone else’s needs before your own.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Changing of the Name

Nature’s first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf’s a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

–Robert Frost

This blog was born in June 2008. Oscar was three, Edgar two. August wasn’t due to arrive on the scene for another year. And the idea that David, my then-foster son eight years prior who never, for a single second, left my heart, would find us, want to reconnect with us, and then move in with us seven years later was a dream I never dared entertain.

In these 11 last months, writing about the transformation our family was undergoing was challenging. I blamed it on writer’s block, figuring every other writer on the planet suffered the occasional bout, so why shouldn’t I? But, of course, it was more than that.

For reasons of privacy, empathy, and truly not knowing what to do with the well of emotions that have been steeping for the last year, I opted to put my efforts elsewhere, living life and electing to make sense of it through writing later.

IMG_4035But now later has arrived.

And thus the name of this platform must now necessarily change—once The Adventures of Oscar and Edgar; then, with the arrival of August and a nod to one of my favorite childhood television shows, My Three Sons.

I will spend a lifetime trying to figure out how this all happened.

But for now, I will start today with a name change.

This blog was born when it struck me, several years into parenthood, that life was moving far too fast and, IMG_4073more to the point, I was infinitely incapable of holding on to all I wanted to remember about their childhoods. Writing the tales of my children’s lives and what I was learning from them was a way for me to retain their myriad stories, to stop time, in a sense, and in so doing leave behind something tangible that would show my children (and anyone else who cared to read) the limitless love I have for each of them.

A tall order, but it worked.

Life’s moments captured, immortalized, and remembered.

Frost is mostly correct, of course. Nothing gold can technically stay. But by recognizing and writing about the gold—the small and not-so-small moments that weave a life—I can at least preserve it.

And in that way the gold can stay.