Sunday, June 19, 2022

Running up that hill

Dear Dad,

You've now been gone for 13 Father's Days. 

I chose this photo because I'm masked. I must've had a cold. There we were, way back then, in India, using masks to prevent the spread of disease to the vulnerable.

Now Jordan is almost 13, and India is 10.

They're smart and funny and gorgeous. There was a long time where I was wondering if parenting was ever going to become fun for me. More than baby giggles, goofing around on the playground fun. 

I mean, I always loved them.

But they took so much work. They needed me constantly. Mostly, they were exhausting with periods of joy.

And now, now they're fun. I mean, sometimes pre-teen moody. But on the whole, so engaging and charming and enjoyable. They're great travel companions, interesting to talk to, just lovely.

And they're huge! Jordan's taller than I am! India now wears all my shoes. It's hard to tell our clothing apart. I got a new warm fleece, and Jordan is taking it to camp. Honestly, I love it.

Nick is a wonderful dad, and the kids love their nana so much. We really have a good little family.

I wish you were part of it.

Last week I went to a yoga retreat in Montana. I do yoga now. I know this is hard to imagine. One of my friends invited our tight little group to her lovely house, where we spent a week. It was phenomenal.

I almost didn't go. Mom was in the hospital the week prior. 

And I'll be honest: I was scared. Really scared.

I was prepared, of course, to cancel my trip. We'd been planning it for a year and a half, and through the pandemic it was the bright spot to look forward to.

But I would've stayed without hesitating. I would've been devastated, but family comes first.

And then dear friends who love me and love Betty--part of the family we've created for ourselves--stepped in. They said I had to go. I needed it.

(Oh, I needed it.)

They'd take over for me. Come to our house, spend time with Mom. Bring her food. Make sure she was OK. Nick spent a day at home to take her to the nephrologist (which I seem to confuse with phrenologist, which is completely different), who was happy with how she was doing.

My friends and Nick, and our kiddos, for that matter, took such good care of her.

She was in great shape when I got back. And in better spirits, than she'd been for weeks, maybe months.

I was so relieved, so happy. She was joyful, engaged, cared for. It underlined for me that she's so loved. I am so loved. 

And really, isn't that what we want most from family, from friends? Love.

I wish you were here to be part of our family. To know our friends. To love my kids.

I miss you.