True Father’s Day

In our kid’s playroom, which is a main-floor bedroom converted. We lined the walls with racks and transparent tubs. Knowing that they often spread all their toys out and play there anyway, we removed all the furniture and placed a closed cell, foam tile product on the floor.

As the early summer sun came in the room, the light and color was wonderful. But the heat caused the foam to expand. The stress from this made the tiles lift off the floor and form a fascinating organic wave like sculpture… but it failed as a flooring surface. Last weekend we opted to yank it out and just paint the cement floor with brown porch paint that was left over from another project. While the several coats were drying we placed the toy racks in our living room. Kids love this type of safe experiment. The subtlety new environment provides a refurbished stage for their tired routines.

Sunday morning I was sitting there amongst these walls of pine and plastic, watching this family of mine create new stories with old toys. At one point my wife handed me “my section” of the paper (autos, tech store fliers, home improvement). With only mild interest, I stumbled across the Father’s Day insert from a major national retailer. After two pages I had to laugh. Represented there in four color high gloss was some father’s life, but not mine. Here I was, a mere facsimile of what I could be if I spent an hour cleaning up, still in my faded sleeping clothes, choking back guilt from not running that day with my third cup of Starbuck’s. Chin deep in the moment of a wonderful weekend morning, and chaos living with others can create.

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(amongst the landfill)

In comparison the printed form represented a high polished, forever youthful, Kodachrome and giddy “Dad”, who’s only concern appeared to be that the third layer of his shirts strategically coordinated with his son’s skate shoes.

Although this seems like a post about me, it’s intended as a post about a global us… trying to balance aspirations with reality, promotion with truth. Do you see yourself in mortar of this setting?

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(back to “normal”)

So here’s to all those who are OK with knowing they don’t look flattering in a terry-cloth bathrobe, but have family and friends who care about them anyway. May knowing this somehow make our lives easier. May this knowledge enable us to look past the weeds in our yards, the slightly crooked cuspid tooth and late arrival at a daughter’s recital.

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One thought on “True Father’s Day

  1. Very satisfying to read and see. Designing an area where your kids can be creative and secure is an important part of parenting.

    In one place we lived, my then small son had an entire wall devoted to his drawings. He loved that.

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