Tag Archives: live

When They Grow Up

Abbi

When They Grow Up

Despite the title and the picture seemingly contradicting themselves, that woman up there is actually all grown up.

Not totally, mind you, but far more than I would ever have thought.  Far more than her father, at that very same age, would have been as well.  In fact, I was knee-deep in the throngs of a crazy whirlwind relationship at that point.  It would be part of my life through most of hers.

So why do I call her all grown-up?

Last week I did one of the most stressful, scary things I’ve ever done since the passing of my wife.  I left my four children alone.

That’s right.  All alone, in the house, together my children were left in the care of their sister, now an adult. I had no doubts that she would be able to do it.  In fact, it was her father that was more concerned than she was.

It’s not that I didn’t make preparations.  I gave her money so that she could take them out for food.  She can cook, my daughter.  However, she doesn’t cook because, seemingly, it’s a task that she thoroughly hates.  Bake?  When the mood suits her.

So eat out was the plan.

It’s an amazing thing, this, because she is seeing an in-depth look at what life is like as a parent of two pre-teens and one full-fledged teen.  Moodiness, grumpyness and all-out cabin fever hyperactivity of her twin brothers.  That is what she faced.

Liberty Bell

So while I was wandering the streets of Philadelphia, taking pictures by the Liberty Bell, I was the annoying parent calling 3 to 4 times a day checking in on them.

The first time I called . . . the first day I was in Philly, my daughter answered the phone with “Hi, Dad, the house didn’t burn down, nobody’s injured, the kids are fine and we’ve all had dinner.”  She cooked.  Mac and Cheese . . . organic, of course.  God forbid those chemicals get into their systems.

So while I stood there worried not about whether they threw a party or went crazy or killed each other but worried that they are scared being alone without their only parent . . . they just laughed at goofy pictures of their Dad and sent me silly things about how crazy they were.  It was comforting.

Yes…it was comforting.

I wasn’t worried about the fact they are growing up.  Honestly, I wasn’t.

I am proud.

I am proud about the fact that my oldest daughter, without flinching, no complaint, said she would watch them without fail.  I am proud of the fact that they expected nothing but were thrilled with the things I brought home to them.

My kids were brilliant.

It makes me proud that they were brilliant.

No parties, no preppies, no boyfriends or girlfriends, no mess . . . well, okay, the house was a mess, but less of a mess than I expected it to be.

No . . . my kids are growing up.  That’s actually a good thing.

Looks like I’m growing up a little in the process, too.

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A Father’s Day

Not actually Fathers Day itself, but a Father’s Day . . . that’s spent with the company of his daughter.

Three of my kids, if I hadn’t made it clear in the previous posts here, are not in my house for the summer.  In order for me to work for a living through the summer, someone has to watch my children so my parents, without my even having to ask, take them to their home for the summer.  It’s a lot of work, time, effort, and I’m incredibly blessed that they want to do it for me.

Doobie Brothers in Lincoln, CA
Doobie Brothers in Lincoln, CA

This weekend was a pretty spectacular one, as weekend adventures go, though.  It started with a concert in the small suburb of Lincoln.  Saw the Doobie Brothers, 43 years into their career, and they sounded better than I saw them more than 20 years ago.

Then I went to the local chapter of television Emmy awards.

Then came Sunday.

After I got home from San Francisco, where the awards were held, my oldest daughter, Abbi, was waiting at home with baited breath for me.  She had a present she’d been holding for weeks to give me.  I got home, after my fun weekend, and inside was a new phone case and a coffee cup (I live on caffeine) with all the kids’ pictures on them.  I know that may seem like a typical Father’s Day gift, but it had special meaning for me since it came from my kids without any parental influence to give it to me.

I then spent the afternoon having an insanely unhealthy and delicious hamburger for dinner and then went and saw the new Superman movie.  All of it came from my daughter, who refused to let me pay and used money from her own paycheck to foot the bill.  I was more proud than you can possibly imagine.  It’s hard, as a parent, as a Dad, to let your kids do something for you.  But I remember trying to do it for my own father and how uncomfortable he was allowing me to pay for an expensive dinner.  That in turn made me uncomfortable.  It wasn’t either of our faults, that’s just how we’re wired, we take care of the kids, not the other way around.  I wasn’t going to let Abbi feel that way, so I took the day with great pleasure.  It was a good meal, good conversation, and a great movie.

With Abbi
With Abbi

Father’s Day had far more adventures I won’t chronicle here, as did the weekend.  Still…I am both thankful and – in a word I don’t often use – blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people that let it all happen.