Man with Heart Artist Unknown
One of the most compelling things for me related to having children has been getting to know my husband as a parent. When I was dating him he would talk about how he never imagined himself getting married or having children. When he thought about his future he saw himself alone. His plan to remain alone through life would, he told me, enable him to move to Spain whenever he wanted. Spain. (Please note that despite more than 10 years of a nearly constant barrage of my suggestions that we MOVE TO SPAIN IMMEDIATELY, we do not live there.)
Now that ‘he who does not live in Spain’ is a parent, I am awed by the new person in my life called “Daddy” by the other two new people. (Okay, okay, so only one can talk. Details!) For a man who didn’t envision himself as a parent, he has grown into the role in ways that make me smile every day. Literally.
Each morning we strap The Mayor and Rooster Girl into the car, drop Daddy off at the choo choo and then drop the children off at daycare so that I can return to the home office. Every morning, without fail, K kisses me goodbye, gets out of the car, runs around it and opens Rooster Girl’s door to kiss her whole face which makes her laugh. Then he gets his brief case and lunch out of the trunk, opens The Mayor’s door and gives him the last goodbye kisses.
The Mayor is completely obsessed with all things choo choo related and especially things that involve Daddy and choo choos. Most mornings he encourages K to run to catch the choo choo. “RUN AND CATCH A CHOO CHOO DADDY!” With total disregard for the fact that other commuters are everywhere, K hurls himself forward with an overly animated, arms and legs akimbo, cartoon-style run towards the station. This makes The Mayor laugh and laugh, but I am the one who hears the delight of my own child’s laughter because by then K is already half-way to the station entrance. The Mayor calls out, "Have a good day at work Daddy. I love you."
There is an open air bridge passing over a busy commuter road that connects the station entrance to the ticket platform. When The Mayor, Rooster Girl and I pull out of the kiss-n-ride area we stop at a traffic light where we can see K on the bridge. Every morning, K stands on the bridge waving and blowing kisses like a fool. The Mayor and I wave back at him from the car while Rooster Girl strains to see what is going on from her rear-facing car seat. Meanwhile, commuters on the main road must be thinking to themselves, “Do I know that guy?”
In the afternoon, as soon as K emerges from the station and sees our car he performs this ritual in reverse. He flies towards the car, arms and legs rotating like Pete Townsend playing four guitars. Car doors burst open and everyone is covered with a schmere of kisses.
Often The Mayor will ask to “walk a bridge.” To the surprise of his fellow commuters, K will get The Mayor out of the car, wave bye-bye to Rooster Girl and I (and his ride home) and take The Mayor for a walk across the station bridge. When the urge to walk the bridge has been satisfied, they ride the bus home together. There is a reason that K is The Mayor's favorite parent.
I was complaining a few nights ago that I felt like I wasn’t doing anything well. The demands of two babies seem to keep me from achieving anything from developing professionally, to getting in shape to simply folding laundry or making dinner. K said that he felt the same way, but added that he thought the one thing we were doing well was parenting. I hope he’s right about me, but I know he’s right about himself. He couldn't be doing any better - even in Spain.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Man with Heart Artist Unknown