Thursday, July 11, 2013

Belly flopping in paradise.

It’s no secret that yesterday I was feeling sad about my family.  Sadder than I’ve felt in a long time about that particular subject because most of the time I know the only way to deal with it is to let it go and not dwell on it.  However, this week, I’ve let myself get angry and sad and disappointed and it’s been hard.
Apparently the good ‘ol Universe and probably God himself knew how to start to fix that deep hurt.  I should trust more in both of those things because they usually know what they are doing.
Yesterday Rambo had the day off of prison and semi work.  He decided to keep the girls from the sitter’s house and spend the day with them.  I told him before I left for work to make sure he went in the pool today because summer was going to be gone before we know it.
He listened.  Plus some.
When I got home at 3pm that night, I cannot literally tell you how many times my girls said to me, “Mom – we had so much fun with Dad today.”
Those are words some little kids will never speak.  Trust me, I know.
Apparently they played in the pool most of the day – for hours. 
Hours people.  F*cking hours.  Like he didn’t get bored after 10 minutes or have something better to do or want to be anywhere else << because it’s not like that for every Dad.  Who knew?
When I got home, the girls begged me to come back in the pool with them and I did. 
With Rambo too. 
The man is insane.  And my God – he’s a good Dad.
First things first…he feels the need to belly flop into the pool like a madman instead of gently stepping in.  The girls of course think it’s hilarious because of the waves he makes.  I think he’s a child…and I secretly love that he’s willing to throw being an adult to the wind – even if just for a minute or two.
Then he played Marco Polo which really isn’t playing because the girls giggle so much the whole time that they are NOT hard to find.  He played who can stay under the water the longest.  He played “let’s make a whirlpool”.  He played anything they asked.  He’d pick them up and throw them into the air into the water and every time they’d scream, “Do it again, Dad!”
Me?  I joined in a lot but I watched a lot.  I sucked the love in.  The pure joy and laughter.  The parts in between when Rambo would grab me and I’d wrap my arms around his neck and my legs around his middle and he’d walk around the pool with me.
We were downright silly.  We all held hands and sang ring around the posey and fell into the water.  At one point, Watermelon said, “let’s have a family group hug” and the four of us stood in the middle of the pool as close as we could get with our arms wrapped around each other.
I could almost feel my girl’s hearts growing in size.
And mine too.
Most of the time I think I’m the only one in my life that thinks about deep shit like the stuff I posted yesterday but I stand corrected. 
Last night, Rambo swam over to me and said, “What the hell would we have done if our moms or dads had done this kind of thing with us when we were kids?”
He caught me off guard even thinking something like that…and my only reply was, “I’d be a whole different person had stuff like this happened when I was a little girl.  Wouldn’t you be?”
He said he didn’t know.
I said that I knew that I would be someone else.  Good or bad – it’s true.
And we continued swimming.  We went in after a while, went and got ice cream and pizza and snuggled on the couch watching our favorite show with the girls.
Nights like this are literally why I pretend there is no world outside of my home.
Rambo was proud of himself.  I saw that in him and it was nice to see.  Because he should be.  I know that yesterday was a day for my girls that they’ll carry with them forever.  So simple – yet so profound.
I am proud that they have nothing to compare it with.  Days like that with their Dad aren’t rare.  It’s what they know of him and our family time.  Yet, as little girls who need their father desperately…it is always treasured by them.  Time with him like that makes them feel like special people.  Something about a Dad can do that for little girls.
When a Dad can’t give that to his little girl, the results can be devastating and they can last a lifetime.
Tonight I will tell Rambo thank you.  I probably won’t be able to do it without crying because of the sensitive topic it is for me this week.  I’ve told Rambo very little about how I’ve been feeling about my family this week.  I haven’t been able to.  I have to process it, deal with it and then talk about it with him…and I’m afraid of the sadness I’ll feel …and the tears.  Crying gives me a headaches and I’ve had enough headaches to last a lifetime.
I know that some people say that pride is a bad thing and that it is an arrogant feeling.  And they might be right.
But I’m going to feel it anyway.  There are sooo many moments and times that are heart-wrenching and difficult during parenting.  There are so many things I do wrong in that department.  There are so many things I could so do better regarding parenting.
In my world, I pretend that I make up for all those errors with days and nights like last night.
It’s definitely true that I am powerless against certain terrible cycles that have been perpetuated throughout my family history BUT it’s also true that I have the power to stomp the shit out of certain other ones.
My girls know they exist to their father.  They shouldn’t have to look outside their home for love and affection from a male figure.  They know their father loves them and spending time with them.  They know what their father’s laugh sounds like.  They know if they are hurt that their Dad’s soft chest and big arms is a place that can make it all better.
He.  Is.  Present.
Moreover – he makes the CHOICE to be present.  Because let’s face it – there are plenty of other choices out there. 
Yah it’s a little bittersweet and yah maybe that makes me a selfish person to feel that but I’m not denying my feelings anymore.  I did that for most of my life and it didn’t work out so great in the end.
I can feel the twinge of hurt and sadness for the little girl in me that didn’t know what my girls know.  I can let the wave of pain come over me when I realize that little girl equated that to not being worthy or good enough.  And then I can move on.
On to the joy and laughter.  Little girls squealing in delight.  “Do it again, Daddy!” being screamed over and over in the evening air.
Last night at one point, we blew up a new reclining floatie that has drink holders in it.  Banana got in it first and as she layed her head back to relax she said, “Ah.  This is paradise, Mom.”
Yah.  You’re right Banana.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
 In fact, you took the words right out of my mouth.


Band4jules said...

this is a great story and a testament to the fact that it is the little things in life that make impressions on our children and change who they are in the future. Makes me want to take the day off and go hang in the pool :-) Almost the weekend - perhaps that is what our saturday will be - thank you for the reminder that it doesn't take lots of money and things to build character and shape our kids futures.

Sheila said...

Love this post. And while I didn't have the same type of past that you did, I do remind myself that having a wonderful husband is one thing but having him be an awesome dad, well there isn't much that can top that. Most men choose NOT to be 100% present when they are with their kids, and to this day I still marvel at him working a full day (sometimes 10-12 hours) and coming home and taking off the work hat and putting on the daddy hat and never once missing a beat. I think it's wonderful that you not only recognize what you have but that you tell him how wonderful he is.

On My Way to Size 8! said...

this really makes me smile. being an someone who had less than a spectacular upbringing (like you)...i have to say i think you have broken the cycle! if there were more parents that were like you and rambo, i would feel very comfortable with the next generation. way to go! you are both doing an awesome job as parents and as people!

On My Way to Size 8! said...

okay, this is weird...i just read your tuesday post. you mention the cycle! agghhhh! great minds think alike sister!

Laura Belle said...

This made me tear up a bit, because it's so good.
It could be that I'm already emotional. And I'm majorly hormonal, but I think it's because it's a great post. Great husband, great dad, great man.

You lucked out girly!

Cat said...

My god...I absolutely love the depth of caring in your posts. The range with which you right speaks to my heart Every.Single.Time. Thank you for sharing such a simple, fun, day with your family with us. I adore that your girls have this relationship with their Mother and Father. No, you're probably not perfect, but as you said, you are present and you make up for the tough days with beautiful days like this one. /heart

Kelly said...

I loved that you were able to go from being sad and sorrowful to appreciating the moments and the simple days with your family.

Kelliann said...


MandaPanda said...

Awesome. Just awesome.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I'm so sorry for all you are feeling, but I just had a thought. Do you think you have so many headaches BECAUSE of how much you're holding onto and keeping inside? I am very glad that your daughters will never know that pain.

Beth Ann said...

Love that!