I wrote this piece about twelve years ago. Evidently Carl and I had been mad at each other about something but I can't remember what. I'm sharing it here in honor of his parenting skills. Happy Father's Day CC.
My husband Carl can be a difficult person to live with (of course the same isn't true of me) but I've never doubted his love for our children. His relationship with them has sustained me during low points in our own nineteen year relationship. I have gathered a storehouse full of memories that run like snippets of home movies in my mind of Carl parenting. This week I found myself using them to help me overcome my anger.One evening last week our six year old daughter,Cara,choreographed a modern dance routine and as soon as Dad got home convinced him to be her partner. Within minutes this tired looking guy was transformed into a middle-aged, gray-haired John Travolta, hamming it up with his little girl. One would not have guessed as he twirled Cara in the air that he had put in his usual twelve hour day prior to this performance. He is a great guest at tea parties too. With his pinkie curled and ankles crossed, he knows the value of serious conversation when air is served into tiny cups. He is also a talented tour guide. Each of our three children have been given a personalized tour of our home upon their initial arrival from the hospital. He points out who has provided what and fills them in on the real story behind each relative or friend.When our sixteen year old daughter Katie was little she spent a lot of time with her Dad at his music store. One day I arrived to find that Katie had gone into business with him, selling unique wooden airplanes, constructed from two toothpicks and a drop of glue. The sign that her Dad had placed in the window read Palatka Music Center and Katie's Aeronautical Center. Incidentally, she sold several toothpick planes that day and still laughs as she recalls the seriousness of the venture.Jesse, our son, enjoys trick skating and music. His dad spent the weekend making rails and ramps to help him defy the laws of gravity. He's been Jesse's music teacher, roadie, manager and sound man.Carl and I conducted a cold war last week. It was miserable for us both. I'm glad I had my "mind movies" to help me get over my anger. Who could stay mad at a guy who is so giving? Certainly not me.