Friday, April 21, 2006

Better than Spain

Man with Heart Artist Unknown

One of the most compelling things for me related to having children has been getting to know my husband as a parent. When I was dating him he would talk about how he never imagined himself getting married or having children. When he thought about his future he saw himself alone. His plan to remain alone through life would, he told me, enable him to move to Spain whenever he wanted. Spain. (Please note that despite more than 10 years of a nearly constant barrage of my suggestions that we MOVE TO SPAIN IMMEDIATELY, we do not live there.)

Now that ‘he who does not live in Spain’ is a parent, I am awed by the new person in my life called “Daddy” by the other two new people. (Okay, okay, so only one can talk. Details!) For a man who didn’t envision himself as a parent, he has grown into the role in ways that make me smile every day. Literally.

Each morning we strap The Mayor and Rooster Girl into the car, drop Daddy off at the choo choo and then drop the children off at daycare so that I can return to the home office. Every morning, without fail, K kisses me goodbye, gets out of the car, runs around it and opens Rooster Girl’s door to kiss her whole face which makes her laugh. Then he gets his brief case and lunch out of the trunk, opens The Mayor’s door and gives him the last goodbye kisses.

The Mayor is completely obsessed with all things choo choo related and especially things that involve Daddy and choo choos. Most mornings he encourages K to run to catch the choo choo. “RUN AND CATCH A CHOO CHOO DADDY!” With total disregard for the fact that other commuters are everywhere, K hurls himself forward with an overly animated, arms and legs akimbo, cartoon-style run towards the station. This makes The Mayor laugh and laugh, but I am the one who hears the delight of my own child’s laughter because by then K is already half-way to the station entrance. The Mayor calls out, "Have a good day at work Daddy. I love you."

There is an open air bridge passing over a busy commuter road that connects the station entrance to the ticket platform. When The Mayor, Rooster Girl and I pull out of the kiss-n-ride area we stop at a traffic light where we can see K on the bridge. Every morning, K stands on the bridge waving and blowing kisses like a fool. The Mayor and I wave back at him from the car while Rooster Girl strains to see what is going on from her rear-facing car seat. Meanwhile, commuters on the main road must be thinking to themselves, “Do I know that guy?”

In the afternoon, as soon as K emerges from the station and sees our car he performs this ritual in reverse. He flies towards the car, arms and legs rotating like Pete Townsend playing four guitars. Car doors burst open and everyone is covered with a schmere of kisses.

Often The Mayor will ask to “walk a bridge.” To the surprise of his fellow commuters, K will get The Mayor out of the car, wave bye-bye to Rooster Girl and I (and his ride home) and take The Mayor for a walk across the station bridge. When the urge to walk the bridge has been satisfied, they ride the bus home together. There is a reason that K is The Mayor's favorite parent.

I was complaining a few nights ago that I felt like I wasn’t doing anything well. The demands of two babies seem to keep me from achieving anything from developing professionally, to getting in shape to simply folding laundry or making dinner. K said that he felt the same way, but added that he thought the one thing we were doing well was parenting. I hope he’s right about me, but I know he’s right about himself.
He couldn't be doing any better - even in Spain.


floosen said...

I think this is one of the most beautiful things you've ever written, Jess. And I so understand where you are coming from because I am married to this kind of man myself. Not the "hey, give him a medal because he's a man and he changed a diaper" kind of dad, but an honest-to-god really good father who is gentle, loving, thoughtful and real. I can imagine that Kevin is every bit what you have described, and knowing you, you are the pepper to his salt. :)



Sayre said...

I love this. My husband is like this and I have such a hard time finding words to say how much I appreciate his daddy-ness. You said it beautifully.

Mel said...

That's right - make me choke up at my office.

What a wonderful moment! And what lucky kids. :)

Oh, yeah - and the thing about parenting is, you never know if you're doing it right. But if you worry about it, you probably are.

kismet said...

That was so positively awesome! What a wonderful loving tribute to not only your husband but to yourself and your children also. I love your imagery....I could see your husband running, waving, blowing kisses and above all smiling at the love of his family.
Thank you for sharing that.


michele said...

That was wonderful! Thanks for submitting it to the Carnival, I'm sure everyone will enjoy it.

You're husband must have been really pleased by this.

Jennifer said...

This was a beautiful piece. So true and so well written.

I'm here (for the first time, I think) from BC Carnival.

Malissa said...

aww!! what a wonderful daddy!

I enjoyed reading that.

Visiting from the BC Carnival

Christina said...

Visiting from the BC carnival

Awwwww, what a wonderful post about your husband! I could really feel his love for your two children as I read it. I look forward to getting to know my hubby as a parent one day, hopefully soon.

Jana said...

Wonderful post! Your children are very lucky to have a daddy like that!

Visiting from the BC Carnival!

Shna said...

Reading through the Blogging Chicks Carnival.

What a great post about a great daddy :)

Karen said...

From BC Carnival...nice to meet you.
That was an incredible story, you should definately post that in a scrapbook or send it in for a tribute to daddies. More kids need daddies like him.

Nikki said...

what a fab daddy.

I really loved this story. It made me smile and feel all warm inside. (it wasn't the alcohol, i promise)

Great Day said...

how truly touching! My husband does some things similiar to your ans it melts my heart every time!

Glad you're not in spain. Sounds like you're both doing a great job, right were you need to be.

here from the BC carnival

Waya said...

I'm happy that you wrote this post about my hubbie. No, really. He amazes me all the time with his daddy ability. He can rough house, tuck the kids in bed, hugs & kisses galore and is not ashamed to say "I love you" to all his children in public. And with him on business trips so much lately, he gets extra special kisses when he gets home, even dead tired from jet lag.

The men of today are so much more involved emotionally than my Dad's generation, I must say. Thank goodness for that!

Karana said...

Thanks for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes.

Biddy said...

23850298375283577 points to K! I heart him you lucky biotch!! :-)