Ta-daaa – 180 Days of Magic

Sleights of moment, waving the family wand

Father’s Day Flashback

Posted by PlayGroundology on June 14, 2008

KylaNearly 15 years ago I wrote a Father’s Day piece for our local paper, The Chronicle Herald. It was a difficult time of my life and the reflections on being a Dad and being a son helped me to weather a sometimes rocky road. Back then I was a single papa doing it alone with the support of my immediate family and a few close friends. Their help was invaluable.

A decade and more later the rocky road has many fewer bumps and I live with Mélanie the woman I love and our 2 children – Noah-David and Nellie-Rose. Alexa, my second oldest daughter lives with us half-time and on this Father’s Day my folks, her uncle, aunt and cousins will celebrate her graduation from high school. The years have passed very quickly.

I’m going to excerpt that article here because it still rings true and I think captures a soupçon of that distilled essence that is being a parent, loving and being loved by our children. The words still dance joyfully for me.

Our routine and rhythms are well established (I wrote about Alexa and I): play times, stories, cooking projects, crafts, day care, tantrums, tears and laughter.

Not all has been serene. Father has been cranky, short-tempered and overwhelmed. Daughter has had severe bouts of mother withdrawal, sleeping difficulties, as well as the requisite cuts, sniffles and accidents that constitute the rites of passage for the toddler set.

The challenges of daily life aside, we have revelled in the warmth of needing one another – hugging and snuggling, growing with each other and executing the spontaneous dance of discovery.

Alexa bearWhat each of us remembers is unpredictable, but today we share moments, transfixed like dawn’s dewdrops on a blade of grass. It is the dawnings and duskings of the days which I hold dearest. The expectations of new adventures about to unfurl and the security of special blankets tucked under a chin as we touch on the closing of day’s events.

Both my daughters are poets. I envy their inventiveness with language, their lack of concern for grammatical stricture or structure, their ability to create new meaning from old words.

It is this unbridled sense of wonder which is their unconscious gift to me. I try to emulate this as best I can in my stumbling adult manner but they are the masters in this field. Their streams of consciousness flow like playful rapids, swirling, rising, falling and I can only marvel at the creativity unleashed. Take time to grab each precious moment, savour its fragrance, bask in its glow.

My 2 oldest daughters still have their poet’s eyes. Alexa’s sketch book is full of beauty that she creates and her photos have that indefinable seeing quality about them – subject matter, composition, light. Makyla was an actor for a time in high school most notably as Daphne in Queer as Folk. I was very proud of her rootedness, her ability to keep the experience in perspective. Now her poeting focuses on animals. As a vet assistant she loves and cares for animals in distress. If I had any pets I know I’d like her to be looking after them in times of trouble.

Noah-DavidNow we have and cherish the 2 Ns – big brother Noah and little sister Nellie. The dawnings and duskings are still incredible, moreso even as I didn’t expect just a few short years ago to live this gift again. And here we are with new discoveries and growth every day, with language redefined, in French and English this time, and with bright expectant eyes embarking new adventures.

I don’t need anything for Father’s Day. I’m all gifted up, abundant in riches. These moments with the children fill my memories. They give me pause to offer thanks. Though the growing with our children is not less precious, their time as wee ones holds a special place in my heart – these are the days of endless wowing, of being and becoming, of simplicity’s compelling magic.

My kids weren’t with me the Father’s Day I wrote The Chronicle Herald piece. This year Alexa is here. Kyla is in her Toronto Tdot. Noah-David, Nellie-Rose and Mélanie are in Sorel. Our kids and Mé will get to celebrate with her dad, Raymond, a fine man who is just about to retire from an active career as a phys ed teacher for primary students. He is one of the one’s who give a damn and cares for the kids under his tutelage. Tonight in Sorel there is a charity walk to benefit a cancer foundationNellie-Rose and Noah’s and Nellie’s grand-maman Nicole will be amongst the walkers. Before they set out, organizers will release a host of butterflies to fly free in the warm blue sky, beating rainbow sundrop wings on a flight of hope into the night.

As for my Dad, Big Bob, he and my Mom Helen are still forces to be reckoned with. We hung out today down at a local café and did a little reminiscing about teddy bears, rocking horses and other kid stuff. Long live the kids in all of us…..

The photos in order of appearance are of – Makyla, Alexa, Noah-David and our wonderful Nellie-Rose.

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