Sunday, June 17, 2012
It may look like a tent, but it's really the gift of adventure--and the attitude to enjoy it.
This week, every year, stresses me out. A LOT. I don't know what it is about this stage in life and birthdays, and Father's Day (TODAY)--but there is an undercurrent of expectation that makes this entire celebration feel like dog paddling in a tidal wave. When we were dating back in college, Mike bought me a fleece blanket for our first Christmas; I gifted him with a shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch. It was perfect and simple, and didn't come with a 15-step scavenger hunt, or a schedule of planned activities. But now we're married, and there's been a bout with cancer, and some premature babies and the death of a child, and a company built, and five houses lived in. And I'm just really not sure that a golf club really SAYS all of that, or speaks of my undying gratitude for feeding the kids breakfast every morning.
It meant something when we celebrated back in 1996, but it means SO much more now. That he's alive another year, that he's a father (and a really good one at that). It all started so simple, but then birthdays and anniversaries became about power tools and surprise parties and week-long beach vacations, and home improvement projects, or elaborate and perfectly orchestrated plans. At this rate, I predict that I will personally build a replica of Versailles on the plot of land currently known as our city's park, for Mike's 80th birthday.
We've moved. We've changed a lot of things. We look at life differently, except that everything is a safe routine that could use a little revision--the house, the new school and quitting the country club is just the tip of the entitled iceberg, friends . It's really EASY to go out and buy a tent (our gift of choice this year), harder to plan a time to use it (according to sports schedules and summer temperatures), and MOST difficult to envision a weekend where we won't want to kill each other (or our most whiny offspring) when confined to an eight foot, nylon dwelling without air conditioning.
This year, for Mike's birthday and Father's Day, we are GETTING OVER IT.
To my dear husband--I love you just as much sweating on a riverbank, as I would in the best hotel in Paris. In sickness and in health, in a rental house or a McMansion. You deserve the best, but mostly the ATTITUDE and SUPPORT that makes it worth it. Happy Birthday to the best father our family could ask for!!