My Two Dads!

My two dadsWith Father’s Day fast approaching, I am taking some time to reflect on how lucky I am to have two dads… my real dad and my step-dad. Two awesome men to look after me. Two energetic minds to talk sports with. One team we can always agree upon… The Arizona Wildcats. Bear Down! Two fellas I can whine about my mom to. Sorry Mama Bear, you know it is true but I still love you! These guys are probably the only men I can truly count on in my life (well, besides my awesome brother!) I know,  no matter what,  they will always be there for me. Have we had our differences? Absolutely. Do they embarrass me still at the ripe age of 31? Without a doubt.My two dads

One insists on wearing his shades inside, while the other one talks to everyone. I mean,  he will know the checkout lady’s life story by the time all the groceries are packed. One thinks wearing shorts during the winter is acceptable., while the other puts on his finest socks with sandals in the summer.

No matter how silly or outrageous these two are….they will always be,  to me,  the best DADS in the world.

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Remembering My Dad on Father’s Day

 

Remembering My Father on Father's Day

My dad and me

A few years back I bought some Concord grapes at the market.   I hadn’t tasted them in years and surprised myself  as the flavorful berry burst in my mouth and I burst into tears.   My father had cultivated Concord grapevines up the side of our garage,  when I was a kid.  My memory of him was apparently inside that grape.  He passed away when I was 13, so my recollection is gauzy…much like peering out from behind the bee nets we would wear to harvest our honey.   He was a beekeeper, among other things.  As a physician and small plane pilot, he had served as a flight surgeon in the Army.   He was a wood-worker, a craftsman, and gardener.  He was the father who had nurtured me until I became a teenager, and then was gone.   As an adult I realize, now,  that I missed out on truly getting to know him as a person, as only grown children can know their parents.  My insight comes from the clues I collected over the years.  He was an eccentric for sure, to house 5 stacked beehives in an urban ¼ acre backyard.  I remember him reading constantly, many books at the same time, and the thousands of books in our home were a testament to his love of them.  I discovered the mysterious root of my wanderlust when I found his massive collection of adventure travel books.  He was an armchair traveler, and that took me around the world.

I missed that feeling of security that having a father allows you.  Some umbrella of protectiveness shut with his loss;  I so envied those who had that.  Truth be told, I still do.  A father’s strong love is unique.

In time,  I was fortunate to gain an amazing father-in-law.  He is also a renaissance man, a physicist, artist and author.  Most importantly, he is father to my husband, also a renaissance man in his own right, and my equally amazing sister-in-law.  I can see how his influence has nurtured them both.  With the advent of our own children, these two new fathers in my life give us so much to celebrate on Father’s Day.

On a string I kept one of the enameled hearts my dad had made as party favors to give my friends on my 12th birthday.  Now I watch my own 12 year old daughter with my husband, as they tease each other and laugh.

My Husband & my daughter

My husband & my oldest daughter

I try to reach back to find those memories of that age to see him through her lens.  I know how lucky my children are to have such an amazing father and grandfather in their lives.  As we prepare to celebrate Father’s Day, no matter where your father is , or what your relationship may be, take this day to cherish just having him in this world.

Now when I eat Concord grapes I know what to expect ,and I let my beautiful memories flood back in.

 

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Raising your kids in a “sports family”

 

Sports are important in our family. One can tell how important by seeing our cars with our respective schools on the plates or the basement painted in my husband’s alma mater’s colors of maroon and gold, complete with Boston College logos on the wall.Of course, the other side of the basement is “my side” with Gator orange and blue accessories.

 

I was raised in a sports family and some of my fondest memories are summers spent in the pool for swim team or at Bollettieri tennis camp in Bradenton, FL. My parents always raised me to value being part of a team, whether it was the softball team in high school or the equestrian team for the University of Florida. My husband also has a sports background, having grown up running track and playing basketball.

You can find us on any given Saturday in the fall at a college football game, in the winter it’s basketball and during the summer we are on the golf course or tennis courts.

I believe sports instilled the principles of teamwork, hard work and dedication in our foundations. We are raising our son with these same values and hope he has a love of sports like we do. I can’t wait to see what he will love as an older child and adult. One of his first words was ball (pronounce ba-all) and he can spend hours throwing and chasing down the ball for himself. I am counting down the days until he can enroll in tee ball, tennis or golf. I can’t wait to be a true soccer mom! Until then, the weekly swim lessons will have to tide me over.

I hope that being involved in sports while growing up will teach him the importance of teamwork and give him the self-confidence he needs to reach his goals in life.Some people have asked us what we would do if our son hated sports and chose   another activity completely unrelated to sports. My answer is always “completely support him!” If it made my son happy to sing in the glee club or be a Thespian instead of quarterback, good for him! I can guarantee you my husband and I would be in the audience for every performance, you’ll be able to spot us wearing the BC and UF gear.

I’d love to hear what you do to help instill your family’s core values in your children, please leave a comment letting us and the other readers know!

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Paige in Purple
     My baby left me.  Just walked right out of the house in the middle of the night for the desert and dry air of Arizona.  Okay, so it wasn’t quite THAT dramatic….but it sure seemed that way when we were skyping from RI to AZ and she was was more interested in jumping on the couch than talking to her mama!  My husband looked at me as tears started to stream down my cheek.  I quickly wiped them away, so Paige wouldn’t see.
     When My husband suggested he escape the frigid New England air for two weeks to see family in Arizona, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get some work done on this website, maybe even catch up on some sleep.  What I hadn’t anticipated was the emotional toll of being away from her and my husband.  Now, I like my alone time.  In fact, for much of our marriage my husband and I have worked different shifts–at times–even in different states.  Heck, even in different countries!  How do you think we’ve managed to stay married so long, moving state to state, job to job?  (I kid.)   But throw the little one in the mix, and that’s a one- two punch this mama just can’t handle.  Seriously, I was a wreck 75% of the time they were gone. 
     They get back tomorrow and I know my heart will skip a beat when I see them at the airport.  Just like it did when I met my husband at that BBQ in college and when I saw the yes sign on that pregnancy test. (oh, yeah…I got those tests, I wasn’t foolin’ around with the plus/ minus nonsense).
     What’s the longest you’ve been away from your kids?  Was it easier or tougher than expected?  Join the conversation…we’d love to hear your thoughts!
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