Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘daughter’

“Chaos and Calm”: Father’s Day Sunday musings…

Sunday musings…

Chaos and calm. As far as I can see, and for as long as I’ve known, these are the only two states of being for a father.

To be sure, not all states of chaos are unpleasant, and there are innumerable degrees of calm. At the moment I am luxuriating in the calm of quiet, accompanied by only Tiny Tim and Abbie the Wonder Dog (both of whom have re-racked). A social creature, these moments of calm were once painfully lonely for me. Having rediscovered my “pen” they are now cherished little gifts, times during which I alternately “sits and thinks” and even “just sits”.

Father’s Day brings soft and warm memories of the other type of calm. Those times when I was with one or several of my children or my “extras” (thanks for the new vocabulary Dillie!). Memories of late summer 1988, coming home to “The Heir” in his infancy just in time to fall asleep with him swaddled and resting on my chest. Or tiny Barbie tea parties with “Lovely Daughter” in her “Megan-Loo Who” stage (from which she eventually acquired the nickname “Goobs”). There’s no yelling at a tea party, right? Lil’bingo and I would work on “construction projects” with his Tonka trucks that could last for hours. The best type of calm for a Dad isn’t lonely at all.

Chaos is just as much a double-edged sword. Man, why couldn’t there be a family frequent flyer program at the ER or the orthopedic surgeons’ office? Even chaos, though, is a net positive as a Dad. I find myself smiling as I remember all of the events we just barely got to on time, the “fire drill” leading up to our arrivals notwithstanding. The chaos of a house filled with toddlers, pre-teens, teens or young adults is filled with enough energy to light up a small city for a weekend. My sides are aching from the memories of the laughter.

Chaos and calm.

Father’s Day for me this year will be like every other Father’s Day since we welcomed “The Heir” so long ago. Unlike so many who use the day to do something like play golf or climb a mountain or some such, I will try to spend as many of my waking moments in the active pursuit of doing Dad stuff. Firing up the griddle this morning and making the bacon is so much more fun than breakfast in bed, the chaos of the Man Cub and the dogs and the timing of the delivery of our new grill (presents!) notwithstanding. I have always spent so, so much time away from my kids (and still so much away from my grandchildren) just doing the things that a breadwinner must do; on Father’s Day what I want more than anything is to be allowed to do Dad stuff as much I can. To be able to just be a Dad today is always my goal, always the best gift possible.

Chaos and calm. Happy Father’s Day to each of you lucky enough to enjoy both.

I’ll see you next week…

–bingo

The Ghosts of Savannah

Savannah is populated by hundreds, maybe thousands, of ghosts. In truth if we met any ¬†when we visited I either didn’t notice or don’t remember. They, the ghosts that is, are all said to be sad or angry. If Savannah does indeed have ghosts it stands to reason that they ALL aren’t angry or sad, and that got me to thinking about ancestors.

Have you ever examined your heritage? You know, looked at what’s swimming in your gene pool, and where it’s been through history? There’s probably a ton in there, probably a ton of information that is worth knowing. History is awfully cool, a rich and vibrant panorama that can be viewed from any spot and examined in either direction. Your OWN history is like this. You should know your own story.

The entry of grandchildren has focused my attention on our family’s stories. Beth went through hers while she filled in a “My Family” book for the Man Cub. I have my version of that book lying on my nightstand, and I’d better hop to it and fill it in with my Mom’s help the next time we get together. There’s no indication that Mom is planning on joining the brigade of ghosts any time soon, but just the same, she and I should make time to do this.

Some of your own heritage may still be around, their panorama moving ever slower as they spool toward the end of their part of the story. Are they happy? Are they fulfilled? Have they imparted all they, and you, need? If they were to leave this life, if there be ghosts, would they be those quiet, happy types, or the sad angry ones that provide fodder for tour guides “crawling” the haunts of Bogart and his ilk? Time grows short for your living heritage, for them and for you.

If there be ghosts, might you be wise to learn their stories before they cross over?

Sunday musings on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a big deal for me every year, just not so much in the traditional “Dad’s day off” kind of way so many fathers seem to celebrate. My idea of a great Father’s Day has always been to in some way, shape, or form hang out with my kids being a Dad, or with my own Dad, being a son. This is the first Father’s Day for me since my Dad passed away, a transition for sure, but it’s also the first Father’s Day since I became a grandfather. Lots and lots of emotions competing for a spot in the limelight today.

I’m a little bit late out of the box with musings today. The man cub was into hanging with his Papi, and that’s just as good on Father’s Day as being around my kids. All of them were around this weekend, too. Li’l bingo got married last night and that added another daughter-in-law to the fold. Another child to celebrate on Father’s Day. It’s quiet for the moment, the excitement of the wedding now just a gentle buzz of fuzzy memories and and soft smiles.

Being a parent has been the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done. For that matter, it’s still the hardest thing I do. This is likely the case for any of you out there who have kids, too. Technically it’s not really all that complex, and the work itself isn’t all that too very difficult. I mean, sure, sometimes that full diaper spills over, or for that matter the first not so great experience with adult beverages spills over, but really the clean up is just a clean up, just like any other clean up. What makes the whole enterprise so bloody hard is that you simply care more about the outcome of your work as a parent than just about anything else you’ve ever undertaken.

My Dad wasn’t there but all three of my kids were together yesterday, The Heir and Lovely Daughter there to support their no longer little brother and his wife on their big day. The night ended with countless best wishes for the new marrieds, followed by round upon round of “Happy Father’s Days” for the Dads present. It felt right and it felt good and it felt like success. Like my own Dad would be proud of the Father I’ve become. Three happy and successful kids and me, Dad, feeling pretty good about the whole parenting thing. Until they all gave me my Father’s Day hug, got in their cars and headed off to their own homes, leaving me to worry about whether I’d done enough to prepare them for tomorrow. And then tomorrow after that.

It’s Father’s Day, after all.

I’ll see you next week…

–bingo