June 12, 2014

Father's Day, and a Mud Puddle

I'm well aware that not everyone has the benefit of having an active father in their lives, so this weekend, I'm going to try extra hard to be grateful first for my son's papa, who wrestles with El on the ground in a way that's all testosterone and gleeful abandon, and second for my own dad, who taught me, among other things, about the joys of being out-of-doors. I have an essay about him up at Literary Mama, right in time for Father's Day. It starts like this:
You were never much of a hunter. Pheasants, yes. Squirrels and chipmunks, I suppose, when you were younger. But you never came home from a weekend away with a buck in the bed of your truck, because you never had much interest in deer season and you owned a sedan. I imagine some people from other places can hardly conceive of a Midwestern man without a shotgun over his mantle, a closet full of blaze-orange jackets, a copy of Field and Stream next to the john. And yet when I think of you, I do see an outdoorsman. I see you paying attention to landscapes, to the shapes of clouds. I see you teaching me to love the world.
You can read the rest here.

And in other news, my son found a mud puddle this week. I had a moment of, Oh! White shirt! But then there he was, stomping, mud squishing into his shoes, filtering through his socks, covering his feet with wet flecks of earth, and I thought, Isn't this exactly what I hoped for? A dozen seconds later he wanted to be even closer, even more coated with rain and dirt and grit, so he sat, and we both laughed. It's going to be a messy, beautiful summer, friends. Here's to all the reasons for those piles of laundry. And Happy Father's Day!


12 comments:

  1. Aww....sweet boy! And what a lovely tribute to Father's Day.

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  2. I have a similar photo of my boy discovering a mud puddle. To recognize that this moment was a gift, rather than a "oh, no, don't get those clothes muddy," shows me you have your priorities right as a mom. I have no doubt that the love of the outdoors your dad gifted to you will be passed along to your son.

    What a beautiful tribute over at Literary Mama. Simply beautiful.

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    1. Thanks, Audrey--and I hope the love of the outdoors is a legacy. I think it is already, I really do, based on how much Elliot wants to go on walks. Now if I can't just keep him under the sky even when the world of video games beckons...

      Hope you enjoyed a nice family weekend, too!

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  3. Dear Emily, thanks for the link to your lovely tribute to your father. I read it with a real appreciation for your memories. And oh, the joy of mud's squishiness! Peace.

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    1. Thank you, Dee. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. And don't we all need a good mud-stomping session now and then. :)

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  4. Emily:

    This is exactly what you hoped for. I knew you would be a good mother, because you had a good father. Squish on, and remain calm. ˜ Richard

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    1. Ha! I think I will somehow transfer that phrase onto a magnet and keep it on my fridge. Thanks, Richard. Hope you had a wonderful Father's Day!

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  5. Well, I hope your man and your dad had a good Father's Day! It sounds like your son enjoyed the puddle. Kids can be messy, and they like to get messy. :) When I was a child, I remember playing outside at my best friend's house. Her younger sister and a friend were also outside, in dresses. Not fancy dresses, per se, but the colorful, wacky-patterned dresses of the '90s. The little sister and her friend got the house and found a spot to water down. And they got mud. All. Over. Them. They were disastrous, but they had one heck of a time.

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    1. Ha! That sounds like just about every kid I knew growing up. I think the mud + children experience is a right of passage for children AND parents. Thanks for stopping over, Dawn! Hope you are well.

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  6. I'm just now reading this and what a sweetheart, and a beautiful photo of him. Little boys are the best!

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