Hey Pa, where’s Ma!?!

Every day of my life, Occasionally, my expectations do not match my reality. This is never clearer to me than on Saturday mornings. All week, while at work, I look forward to an unhurried Saturday morning that includes coffee and cuddling on the couch while the kids contentedly watch cartoons and I catch up on some reading.

Yet, here I sit, typing these words in my closet. It’s 7:38 on Saturday morning and I’m hiding from my family. I have not spent the morning sitting peacefully, enjoying my family’s presence, sipping coffee, and reading. No. We have skateboarded, gone “camping” with the doll house family, made waffles (don’t get too excited, a toaster was involved), answered 5,000 questions, and walked the dogs fifteen times (numbers may be slightly exaggerated). It’s been absolutely exhausting lovely.

So, as any good parent would do, I grabbed my lukewarm cup of coffee, phone, and laptop and snuck into my closet. I’ve found peace underneath the hanging clothes. This moment of rock star parenting makes me realize that I’m fortunate to be a parent in the modern world. What did frontier women do when they hid from their families? And you know they did. It may not have warranted a chapter in Little House on the Prairie but there were times when Pa and the girls couldn’t find Ma because she was out hiding behind the outhouse. So without wifi, did poor Ma grind grain? Darn socks? Sew bonnets?

Not me.

I fire off texts to my husband:

Me: Can you bring me a waffle?

Keith: Where are you?

Me: In the closet.

Keith: Come out of the closet.

Me: No. Hiding from kids.

Keith: Stellar parenting.

Me: Thanks. Any chance of getting more coffee?

Keith: No.

My time in the closet was short-lived. The kids soon appeared and said, “What do you want, Mom? Dad said you were looking for us in here.”

Although my moment of sneaky solitude among the hanging clothes was brief, I learned a few things while in hiding. First, Keith has a dark side. Second, I could never hack it without modern technology. Third, I really need to have a coffee-maker in the closet. And, last, we all need little moments of escape from our lives, no matter how wonderful those lives may be.

Have your expectations failed to match your reality lately? How do you manage to make the occasional escape? Is darning socks a lost art? Do you feel Keith was ever so slightly unreasonable regarding the waffle request? (Oh, and if you’re a parent who never feels the need to take a breather from parenting, that’s fantastic. Your comments are very welcome … somewhere. Perhaps Parenting magazine has a blog?)

Be a man

Sometimes fathers are heroes.  Sometimes grandfathers are rescuers.  Most of the time they’re just men who let their lives be changed forever by the birth of a child. 

(Click here to read the excellent post I read this morning about a father who describes this better than I ever could.)

Happy Father’s Day to:

  • Men who know that “be a man” means so much more than shooting and spitting
  • Men who step in to parent in place of other men who can’t or won’t
  • Women who parent without partners
  • Men who know that their time and attention is just as crucial as their paycheck
  • Fathers who paint toenails, explode volcanoes, build pirate ships, and otherwise prioritize making memories
  • Grandfathers who, while utterly exhausted by their grandchildren, take delight in their craziness and hear music in their laughter
  • Uncles who spend their leave from work sorting through a broken home and damaged belongings to bring their nieces and nephews back to normal after a tornado
  • Other uncles and family members who realize the importance of their presence in the life of a child
  • Grandfathers who jump into pools clothed, start inappropriate dinner conversations, and play the guitar for dancing grand-daughters all for the sake of love, joy, and laughter
  • Grandfathers who are loving but, to quote my daughter Emily, in less “ridiculous” ways
  • Dads who love their children more than their own lives and , in dramatic and less dramatic ways, live accordingly every single day

 May your day be filled with appreciation, gratitude, and ridiculous love!