Thursday, June 25, 2009

a belated father's day note to chip




My Dearest Chip,

Please teach me how to play. You know how to have fun, how to let go, how to not worry about the dishes in the sink or the clothes waiting in the dryer to be folded. You know how to be in the present moment no matter what else might be competing for your mind's attention.

You know how to play with Alice. She sees you smiling, laughing, arms and legs tangled as you roll around on the floor without a single worry for knocking over a lamp or bouncing a ball against the ceiling. She loves to join you in these games.

I watch from the sidelines, wondering how it is to be a dad.

You watched my body change as Alice grew inside my belly-- watched me bond with the strange interloper, listened to me talk to my constant companion. You might have been afraid that you'd always be watching the mother-daughter dance from the sidelines forever. But in those first moments of Alice's birth, you were there in ways I could not be. While I lay strapped on the table, surgeons busy putting my insides back in my inside--- you followed Alice's journey around from doctor's arms to scale to table to doctor's arms and finally into your own. You talked her through it, telling her not to be scared, that you were so excited to finally meet her. That you couldn't wait to play.

The mama is safe. She is constant. She is soft. She is there. The mama is a reminder of shoulds and shouldn'ts, can'ts and mustn'ts. The mama is wheat bread and vegetables.

The daddy is fun. He is play. He is hardy and climbable. He is a colorful variable that sweeps in to bring her high flying fun and safety all in the same package. The daddy is encompassing. He is strong and deep. There isn't anything that he can't do.

I don't regret any of this for you, or for me. I love being the mama. And I love how you are the daddy, Alice's daddy. The best one she could ever have.

But still. I want you to teach me how to play. Teach me how to open Alice's bedroom door by playing peek-a-boo. Teach me how to think up a new game with the blocks every single day. Teach me to make silly noises in Alice's ear. Teach me to let go, to give in, to be be be. Teach me to run into the wind, to drink in the starlight, to splash every rain puddle. Teach me how to have fun. I want to learn.

Happy Father's Day, love.

Your Whimsy.

5 comments:

clueless but hopeful mama said...

So sweet. So true.

The Importance of being Allen said...

Very nice Whimsy! I'm sure he loved it.

Chip said...

Thanks babe. I splash every puddle because I have to. Just so you know, I think you are a lot of fun too. Thanks for saying yes

Heidi W. said...

ahhhh! You guys are so cute and sweet!

M said...

Dude. You are SO wheat bread and vegetables. But you are also fruit cocktail.

I just thought someone should remind you.

Awesome post, friend. I totally dropped the ball on Father's day.