Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

It's been a while since I've written to lil'screamie - consider it a much-needed early-summer vacation from thinking too hard about the what's and whys of Dear Alex. We've had an eventful past few weeks, and there's a world of stories that really need documenting, as memory becomes unreliable with the multitude of details. We've had a real burst of activity, with visits from both of my sisters, and a trip to the Hamptons over the long Memorial Day weekend, and visits to the New York Aquarium and the Bronx Zoo and MoMa and Coney Island and carousel rides and the various side-trips that seem to be what things are about these days. Beautiful Wife and I have been busy, with plans and trips to places to engage Dear Alex with the world, and by any account, it's working. I've really been enjoying our outings and new experiences, and it gives me great happiness to say the Dear Alex has enjoyed it too. It makes me wonder, though, about what it is that we're doing, and how much of it is for her, or because of her - The Kid is a great excuse to do anything for the sake of her entertainment and education, and that's okay by me. I've been trying to remember if I could, anything that I remember from my deep childhood that would help me know what she's getting out of these many experiences - I draw a blank, and I know that someday, she will too. For now, the details and freshness of our day-to-day adventures stand out for her vividly, as stories that she can tell in a very halting and rudimentary way as we talk about her day(s). It feels like something important, and so we go on.

This weekend, being Father's Day weekend, was somehow more important and reflective for me, as I've come to really appreciate what being 'daddy' is all about. In the beginning you are there somewhat by surprise, somewhat by default, as you are indeed certainly responsible for at least half of the awesome creature that is becoming another human being right before your very eyes. In time you grow to really understand that it's not a fearful learning experience, or a new job, but something that you've been training for all your life, though you didn't know it at the time. Everything that's happened to you informs how you are and will be with the most amazing challenge of your life - and you meet the challenge and do the things that you'd never thought you'd ever do with a smile, and grace and the patience of a saint. At least that's what I hope for and want to be - only the best and the everything to my Dear Alex. The beauty, of course, is that it is returned in kind, with hugs and "I love you" and the joy of helping Dear Alex grow.

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