Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Every day, Keats wakes up and busts through the door asking, "Where's Daddy?" Every morning, that's his very first question. Every day, when Birch gets home from work, we see him pull up and walk up the steps. Olive wags her tail and runs around the room, Frida crawls to the door squealing and whacking the floor, Keats hops around the room yelling with delight, "Daddy's home! Daddy's home! HI, Daddy!" Every day, he takes the kids for an afternoon walk around the farm so I can have some time to myself. Birch makes us dinner every day and it is always delicious. Birch makes me an espresso while I take my morning shower and leaves it on the bathroom sink to greet me.

Every day, Birch is a wonderful father. He has Keats help him do the outside chores: feeding the chickens and ducks, giving them plenty of water, collecting eggs from the nesting boxes, cleaning out soiled bedding, giving Olive a new bowl of water. They wash off toys and fold up blankets. Birch whacks away at weeds with Frida sleeping in the carrier, her head pressed firm against his chest. They go for walks, Keats pushing Frida in the stroller or pulling his very own wagon behind him. Birch stops and talks to the neighbors about fishing and making bacon. Sometimes he picks wildflowers and brings them home for me to put in a vase on the windowsill. Birch lets Keats play in puddles and takes him out in the stormy rain. 

Every day, Birch is a loving father. He changes diapers without complaint. Birch takes the kids to the transfer station with him while I sweep up the living room. He trims my parents' apple tree and uses the wood for smoking homemade bacon. Birch snuggles with both kids on the couch and tickles them until their laughter is silent and gasping. He kisses me and hugs me and says "I love you" in front of the kids as they look on with awe. Birch puts together furniture and reaches the things that are too high.

Every day, I love the man I call my husband. Every day, I love the man they call, "Daddy!" Every day we love him and every day he just gets better and better.
My Dad's Hands
by David Kettler

Bedtime came, we were settling down,
I was holding one of my lads.
As I grasped him so tight, I saw a strange sight:
My hands. . .they looked like my dad's!
I remember them well, those old gnarled hooks,
there was always a cracked nail or two.
And thanks to a hammer that strayed from its mark,
his thumb was a beautiful blue!
They were rough, I remember, incredibly tough,
as strong as a carpenter's vice.
But holding a scared little boy at night,
they seemed to me awfully nice!
The sight of those hands - how impressive it was
in the eyes of his little boy.
Other dads' hands were cleaner, it seemed
(the effects of their office employ).
I gave little thought in my formative years
of the reason for Dad's raspy mitts:
The love in the toil, the dirt and the oil,
rusty plumbing that gave those hands fits!
Thinking back, misty-eyed, and thinking ahead,
when one day my time is done.
The torch of love in my own wrinkled hands
will pass on to the hands of my son.
I don't mind the bruises, the scars here and there
or the hammer that just seemed to slip.
I want most of all when my son takes my hand,
to feel that love lies in the grip.

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