When my older son was three, he gave an aggressive pruning to a peony I had in a vase. Reading my face when I took in the pile of petals before him, he said, “We need to get Daddy to fix the flowers.”
This ingrained belief that Mark can repair (or regenerate) just about anything, coupled with his even-keeled, patient personality, has made him the go-to helper in our house — a fact both of our kids alluded to in Father’s Day worksheets they filled out at school. The former flower disfigurer reported that Mark is his hero because “he fixes my fidget spinners.” And in addition to relaying that Mark is “50 feet tall” and his job is “usually to play baseball,” our little guy said he loves doing Lego sets with his dad. (Fortunately the feeling is mutual, as I find zillions of miniscule plastic pieces and 100-page instruction manuals to be anxiety inducing.)
Mark spent Father’s Day weekend helping, too, volunteering to spread sand and mulch at our younger son’s preschool on Saturday morning and coaching the older one’s Little League team in the afternoon. On Sunday, he prepared his own Father’s Day breakfast and worked on a Lego yacht with the kids while I went to an exercise class. Later, we headed to Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park in Freeport, where we had a picnic, played catch, and hunted for osprey nests and lady slippers on the Casco Bay Trail before stopping for frozen custard on the way home.
Gazing out the window on the ride back to Portland, I thought of the time, a few years ago, when our little son pointed to the moon and said, “Daddy made that.” As a metaphor, at least, I’d say it still holds up.
What role does Dad/Stepdad/Grandpa play in your house? How did you celebrate him on Father’s Day? I love hearing your thoughts!