I had a lovely night last night. Got home a bit later than normal and spent time with the family. My son was extra affectionate, giving everyone kisses and hugs every five minutes. When it was time for him to go to bed, we all went upstairs and gave more hugs. Every stuffed animal must be given a hug and a kiss, and he has to have 3 hugs and 3 kisses from everyone in the house in order to go to sleep without a fuss. It’s lovely. 🙂
Once the kids go to bed, my time begins. It’s the time of day when I can do pretty much whatever I want for 2-3 hours. Catch up on some house cleaning, read a book, watch a good flick or play a video game. I’m fiercely protective over this daily unwind time, and when I don’t get it, I find that I get a little on the grumpy side. So I do what I can to ensure that I have this time.
In the morning, my alarm goes off. I wake up my daughter by flicking the lights of her room and then am off to go get myself ready to start the day. My son typically wakes up shortly after, and we all spend the morning getting ready, stopping for hugs often. There’s happiness and laughter here. This morning, we went on a monster hunt. It started as a hunt for my son’s favorite toy, but quickly turned into a game of stomp through the house growling at pretend monsters in the corners of each room.
It is these moments, these quiet, unassuming moments in my world that I cherish. That I crave. I love how affectionate my kids are. I love watching them learn and grow and explore their world with all the curiosity and enthusiasm they possess. They are really good kids. We don’t have a lot of fights or arguments. Not a lot of talking back – sure, the two year old can rear his impatient side at time, but even he is typically good over the alternative.
When I was 4, my mom met my step dad. Apparently, on their first date, he came to pick her up and ended up playing barbies jumping off the couch with me all night instead of going out. My mom has always said that this was how she knew he was a keeper. He had no qualms with spending time with her and I, rather than just her alone. My step dad has always been one of my best buddies. He is the epitome of what I see as behaving like a real man. He’s a goofball, and has no problem with letting loose and playing, but also has this quiet strong sensibility about him. Growing up, when my mom and I would argue, he would stay out of it for the most part, only jumping in when he was really needed. He was always the one who’d talk to me. My mom would run off crying (she’s VERY good at giving guilt trips) and my step dad would come out and sit and actually talk it through with me. Hear my side, share mom’s if I wasn’t hearing it, and help the house find it’s calm again. He’s the man I go to for advice about a whole hell of a lot of things even to this day; and is someone who I respect to the fullest degree.
While I can truly say I’m not looking to fill the fatherly role for my children (that’s just not something I feel like I can ask for… seems wrong to me) … I can hope that maybe someday, they’ll have a male presence in their life that is like my step dad. Someone who can be their friend, someone to look up to, someone to quietly guide them by example and show them what a man really looks and acts like. Someone who’ll love them like my step dad loved me. Like his own.