Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

Father's Day is a pretty big day around here...seeing as Jay has become a father many times!  Figuring out how to honor a man who, every day, gives his all to his family is no easy task.  I was thinking about re-posting one of my favorites, Ode to My Husband, but then changed my mind!

Here's what I came up with....

The following are my top 9 memories of with each of my kids.

(I know what you're thinking, Jay, 
(And for any of you readers that just thought)...
"Oh, she should just go for an even 10 and have one more!"...

I'm giving you my angry eyes!)
In order of birth......

1.  Michael
The memory that pops into my head first of Jay with Mike actually occurred while Mike was still in utero.  It was our first ultrasound.  We were young, overwhelmed teenagers trying to adjust to the new path our lives had taken.  Seeing Mike on the ultrasound screen made everything real.  I remember Jay being so excited to see Mike on the screen, looking like he was using my bladder for a trampoline.  Jay was grabbing and rubbing my foot since the only place for him to stand was at the end of the table.  Not all guys would have stepped up into a father role at that point in life, but Jay jumped in with both feet!

2.  Andrew
Andrew was a very colicky baby.  He was sooo challenging during the day for the first thirteen years few months.  Andrew took two 15 minute naps a day and demanded to be carried(facing out) the rest of the hours he was awake!  Jay worked at a nursing home the summer before he started grad school when Andrew was an infant.  Jay would come home and I would just hold Andrew out to him without saying a word.  I.was.always.done by 5pm!  Jay would take Andrew and walk around our neighborhood cuddling him and talking and singing to him.  Jay always loves the kids as babies...even the difficult ones!

3.  Jonathan
Jonathan loved to toddle around Jay.  Jon especially loved being Jay's sidekick during the summer that we grew tomatoes and Jay made and canned homemade tomato sauce.  Jon would sit on the counter with his pudgy little legs "helping" to pour in ingredients.  Jon always wanted to lick the spoon that the tomato paste was on!  (eww...never understood that one!)  But, I love that the boys always wanted to be doing whatever daddy was doing...and that Jay had the patience to let them join in!

4.  Therese
This is a tough one because Therese was with us for such a short time....and the time was intense and filled with so much grief.    The best memory that I have is of Jay laying Therese in her crib for the first time...and though we didn't know it at the moment, her last time.  He had just stayed up cuddling her and holding her until her midnight feeding so that I could get a little sleep before her 3am feeding.  I woke up as he walked into the room and laid her in the crib that we had bought just for her.  Some memories are extra precious because you have so few....

5.  Sarah
Sarah was born 364 days after Therese...and having a healthy baby girl was like balm to our broken hearts.  My favorite memory was captured in a picture that I need to find.  It hung on our wall for years.  Sarah was dressed in her little pink outfit just laying in the hospital bassinet while we were waiting to be discharged.  Jay leaned over to kiss her perfect baby cheek and I snapped a picture.(pre-digital cameras!)  The look on his face was priceless...complete joy, happiness and peace!  (And he's been 'wrapped' ever since!)

6. Peter
With Peter, I want to share an overall theme rather than a memory.  Having a child with very pronounced disabilities is incredibly difficult.  It's like having the most difficult baby and toddler phase that you can think of at the same time....and it lasted 8 years before it got a little easier.  It's not as hard least compared to what it used to be like.  It still is far from easy.  Jay does so much to take care of Peter....from bathing him to taking care of him when he wakes up at night to taking him for rides on the highway to the town next to us because, for whatever reason, it's something Peter is obsessed with and loves to do and it makes him so happy!  Jay is a great dad even when it's hard for the long haul!

7. Ellen
Ellen was born a few months before Peter's 2nd birthday-which was pre-diagnosis.  Because Peter was so hard at night, and I was supplementing with Ellie, Jay took care of Ellie's night feedings.  Every night for the first 18 months of her life, Jay got up and gave his baby girl her bottle.  Just like her big sister, Ellie is a 'Daddy's girl', too!

8.  Luke
As soon as Luke figured out that there was more to life than nursing(!), he has been Daddy's little helper.  Armed with his plastic 'tools', Luke works side-by-side with Jay tearing down walls, building cabinets, painting, or whatever the project happens to be.  Luke knows the sound of a sander or saw from several rooms away.  He might be engrossed in a tv show, but as soon as he hears a tool he goes running to the garage!  Jay gives him a 'Lukie job' and they work side-by-side.....even though Luke sometimes makes more work for Jay than he started with!

9.  Kate
Last but not least is our newest little daughter that has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger.  All Kate has to do is look up at Jay with her big blue eyes and say, "Dadeeee", and Jay visibly melts!  He is the horsey ride giver, block tower so she can knock it down maker, and creator of the bath bubbles!  Kate adores her Daddy as much as Jay adores his little girls!

If we want to make Jay cry, all we have to do is talk about one of his little girls getting married!  If the song Dancing With Cinderella comes's all over!  Break out the tissues!

Happy Father's Day to an incredible father!  Jay, I'm so glad we are on this wild, crazy ride together!  Thanks for not running away screaming and for making it fun and meaningful despite all this chaos!

Happy Father's Day!

linking up with Julie for the Distinguished Dads Link up!