Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just Another Unsung Hero

A friend of mine shared the following quote this morning, and if you follow me on any of my thousands of social networking sites you've already seen it, maybe several times, today:

‎"A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society." - Billy Graham

I've written quite a bit about Mother's, motherhood and my mother in particular on this here blog in the short time it has been live but have not said much on the subject of fatherhood. Mostly for the fact that I am indeed not a father, so in that sense it is a somewhat foreign subject to me. But I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity that is Fathers Day to comment on the incredible, powerful role that fathers play in society, and more importantly in our personal, individual lives.

We tend to forget, or take for granted just how crucial fathers are, and in some instances we feel unable to state the fact even when we are aware of it due to the unyielding pressure to avoid saying anything that could possibly undermine or offend the growing population of single mothers out there. It's as if giving credit to one group of people must inherently take away credit due to some other group. But downplaying the importance of fathers in our society is doing nobody any favors. Yes, ladies we are capable, wonderful, strong beings and we have the ability to raise amazing, well-adjusted children on our own if need be, but that fact does not negate the other reality we often fail to acknowledge which is that in those instances there is adjusting that needs to be done. Compensating that needs to take place. And in more ways than the surface level financial issues we're all aware of. This is true because the role of the father in a child's life is extremely valuable.

Unfortunately our media today undermines men when it comes to their roles as fathers and husbands. I don't mean to deny here that women are not portrayed by the media in very good light the majority of the time either, but when it comes to depictions of family life men are only useful as comedic relief it seems. They are depicted as lazy, incompetent, irresponsible, selfish and a whole host of other less than savory things. But I am here to say that it's not all true! Sure there are plenty of real life stories out there that resemble the sitcom family of 2011, but there are also so, so many good hardworking, caring, admirable dads out there doing the very best they can. And while the numbers may be dwindling, I do have to ask the other ladies out there in the world just what we think is going to happen when we so consistently and loudly voice our expectation that they will let us and our children down. The old axiom is true: people will live up to or down to your expectation of them.

All of that to say this, the father's I have been blessed enough to have in my life have been nothing short of amazing in so many ways. My father, my Grandfathers, and now my Father-in-Law and especially my Husband, the father of my son... they were and are all strong, loyal, loving teachers, providers and caregivers. Nothing short of heroes in my book. Families have been built on their foundations of honor and integrity, have flourished under their servant leadership, have survived many a storm protected by their hard work and perseverance and have flourished as a result of their constancy and steadfastness.  

So here's to the Fathers. Holding it down since... well, forever.

My Dad
Jason's Grandpa
And my #1 man bonding with our little guy!
And to all the other amazing fathers out there; Happy Fathers Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Small Town U.S.A.

Well, it's official. We are now small town people. Small town people living in a big (to us) house! And I have to say it feels good.

It feels good to look outside my window and see people walking their dogs, taking a brisk jog in the morning air or pulling their young ones behind them in a wagon down the communal sidewalk... and smiling at each other as they pass. Waving to one another, sometimes even stopping to say hi and chat about the recent graduation ceremonies held for the class of 2011, a whopping 5 kids! ...though I do have to do a little fact checking on that one, we are still new and I'm basing this data on a print-out congratulations flier posted at the one and only chain fast-food establishment in town.

And can I just say, thank God that it is a Subway and not a McDonalds.

Amen to that!

We even woke up our first morning in our new home to the sound of the doorbell. It was, no joke, our next door neighbor with a homemade loaf of raisin bread welcoming us to town. I didn't think those things happened anymore outside of TV and movies. I literally pinched myself.

We have a front porch and a back deck, a fenced in backyard, a soon-to-be pumpkin patch, a laundry room, a garage and most importantly we have our own room once again!! It's such a major relief, and though moving is not easy per-say, and though I'm not going to even try to pretend I'm not tired and slightly overwhelmed... it all feels good. Yes, even the tiredness has that "I'm tired because I've expended all of my energy on something entirely worth it" edge to it which makes it precious somehow. Because soon the newness will wear off and I will long for the type exhaustion I am feeling in this moment.

It is a special variety this fatigue, and I am grateful for it.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Schizophrenic Style: Wild Horses

She gallops as the light dims slowly in the sky 
Knowing that the now certain summer brings with it a new form of freedom...

Outdoor adventures not unlike those of her own childhood 
At the same time altogether different

Today, adventures along a suburban street, next week,
next month her very own outdoor oasis to explore...

It's an interesting line she trots along

A free and wild spirit yet one whom is so easily spooked
In need of blinders

Easily overwhelmed
Just as easily swept up in the power and beauty of the setting sun
Leaves rustling in the wind

Fiery calm

Powerfully submissive 

 Having once been broken she remains cautious, her countenance bridled 

All the while a quite boldness flows through her veins
Purposeful defiance

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