Saturday, June 20, 2015

Hey, Dad...

Hey, Dad...

I wrote a long post just now about Father's Day and all the reasons that this day seems to sting more than your birthday or the day you died, about how I suck at getting cards because I can't physically will my feet to move in the card aisle anymore, about being envious of the people who still have their fathers with them, but simultaneously craving their stories and pictures as a celebration of the time they have together.

It was long and sappy and wallowy and you would have absolutely hated it. 

It really was terrible.

Father's day starts in a few minutes and I'm sitting here alone. Pecking away at the keyboard.

If you were still here and I'd written something like that and you'd read it, you would have called me to make sure I was okay. It was that bad.

So, I did what I had to do and I deleted it.

Decided to write this instead, hope that you have a wifi connection in the afterlife.

(You never did care much about cards and that manufactured holiday nonsense anyway...)

I guess I should catch you up on things around here since it's been a little while since my last letter to you.

The Oldest is starting high school soon. He's grown up so much since you left that I don't think you'd even recognize him these days. He is starting the biomedical program, wants to be an ICU nurse. Because of you. He's fallen completely in love with music and tried out for the bass line a few weeks ago. It looks like he's getting tagged for fifth bass (the big giant drum) since he's the tallest one out there. My little boy is the tallest one out there. I guess he's not so little anymore. You'd be so proud of him.

Freckles flew on an airplane all by herself today for the first time. She was so nervous, but she did it. She's spending time with her uncle, and I'm sure that if she listens for it just right, she'll hear your voice come out of him sometimes. I've heard it. Hell, everyone has heard it. She's playing his clarinet, you know...the one that you ordered special all those years ago. I bet you didn't think it would have a second life, but it has. She's taking care of it. I promise. She's firmly between being a little girl and being a teenager right now, in those years with all the eyerolling and sighing. You'd laugh if you were here, if I ever told you the things she does that make me crazy, and then you'd remind me of how I was when I was her age.

Mini Me has turned into a fish this summer. We finally got her back in the pool, and she's a natural at it. She's pushing herself in a lot of ways, she's growing up and figuring out how to navigate the world she lives in. She's still my emotional one, I think she always will be. She's still the one that talks to me about you the most often. She feels more, she loves more, she just misses you more. You two always did have a special connection. I think you always will.

Little Boy still terrifies me on a daily basis. He hasn't met a tree or wall he didn't want to climb yet. He jumps off of everything and wants to be a ninja. He learned a long time ago how to use his charm, and he's refined that skill over the years. When he knows he's being naughty - he gets this little sparkle in his eyes that reminds me so much of you.

Then there's the littlest one, the one you never got a chance to meet. He's 9 months old now, which just seems impossible. He's crawling and thinking about walking already. He's stubborn and vocal and a complete mama's boy. You'd just adore him.

As for me, I'm doing okay. We bought a used car recently and it was weird not picking up the phone to call you and tell you all about it. Part of me still feels like I'm not old enough to make decisions like that without getting your input. Part of me still forgets sometimes that you're gone, and for a split second my brain tells me that I should call you. I may not be able to technically tell you anymore, but I'm still talking. Because I'm always talking.

Always with the talking.

I'm still writing, but that's different too these days. I had a few websites I was writing for and it was awesome for a while. Then the baby came and he needed me in a way I've never had to deal with before. He had awful reflux and has been calling the shots around here since he was born. That would amuse you too, my being humbled by a newborn. I don't have much time to write and I'm back to mostly writing for me. Which is good, I suppose. I do it when I get the chance, but I don't stress about it anymore. I'm working on a few books too, though they've pretty much been shelved for the summer since trying to get anything done with five kids is just about impossible.

You'd tell me that none of that matters as much as taking care of them anyway.

You'd tell me that I can always write later but they'll only be little for a while.

You'd remind me to stop worrying about the past, stop worrying about the future. Tell me to live in the present.

The way you always did.

Sometimes, when I'm sleeping, I swear that you're still telling me these things in my dreams. You tend to show up more frequently when I need you to, even if my subconscious is the only way it happens these days.

I miss you. I miss you more on days like this one.

We're heading out to take Mr. Hive to a few local breweries for Father's Day tomorrow. I do so wish that he'd started brewing earlier, back when you were still here. I wish the two of you could have shared that together. He's changed a lot since the last time you saw him, enough that you'd do a double take...but I'm not just talking about physical stuff. He's different. You'd be pretty proud of him too.

And you'd laugh if I told you that sometimes, when he opens his mouth, I swear that I hear your voice come out.

We miss you, Dad, and we love you so much it hurts.

Happy Father's Day.

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