6/17/08

Redemption

Our Father's Day was a big flop (I think hubby's opinion might go something like, "It F*&@ing Sucked").
For starters, the girls and I spent half the day out at the Lake with my dad while John headed to the beach for a dad's day surf. All fine and good so far, every one's happy and entertained. Things went awry when we arrived home an hour and a half behind schedule (packing up four days of crap and two cranky, waterlogged kids by myself in 2 hours or less is no small job). Unannounced to me, the surf was crappy and John returned home early to an empty house. He spent the next three hours alone, cleaning the garage (Happy Father's Day). Dirty, frazzled, sun baked and exhausted, we pulled in the driveway, flopped onto the sofa and unenthusiastically wished John a (monotone voice) Happy Father's Day(no fanfare, no card, no balloons, no gift). Ugh. Silently taking note of the sparkling clean and organized garage but forgetting to thank him. He then expressed an interest in visiting our neighbor's house to share some wine and say goodbye at their "little moving away party". Not really my idea of the perfect father's day with our family but...if that's what you want. Without so much as a grimace, I dragged myself off the sofa, showered and bathed the kids, threw a travel gift together and dressed everyone in party gear to walk down the street. We arrived late and soon realized that their informal goodbye gathering was actually a Double Birthday Bash/Baptism Party/Father's Day/Going Away Party complete with gifts and goody bags. Is it just me or are we a little unprepared and really out of place? I awkwardly handed the mom our completely inappropriate gift wrapped in newspaper. What are we doing here?? ran through my head a million times as I shook hands with every extended family member, oohhed and ahhed at baby's first birthday cake and gripped a plate of catered appetizers. A burned copy of The Backyardigan's CD wrapped in newspaper. That was our road trip gift. Holy lame-Oly. We should leave. Now. Why are we here??????
When we finally made our exit I breathed a sigh of relief after waving our final goodbyes. Home sweet home I thought, rummaging through our kitchen for some measly excuse for a dinner. John grabbed a beer from the fridge and paced around the back door. "Are you going somewhere?" I finally asked. He explained that he promised "The Guys" at the neighbor's house he'd return to the party with more wine. And with that brief explanation, he turned with a jerk, laid his finger aside of his nose, and flew out of sight. The kids immediately fell apart, wailing with exhaustion, Shelby sobbing, "But where did daddy go?" After 37 minutes, when I thought the roof might actually blow off from the endless shrieking generated inside our house, I gave ol' dad a ring. "Your daughter (Background Screaming) would like to give you (Shrieking) her Father's Day (Wailing) Gift before she goes to bed." I hung up, eyed her ceramic Daddy plate from school, rummaged for some paper and scribbled a brief but polite Happy Father's Day note. Part of me kicking myself for dropping the ball (it's the FIRST time ever I have been completely unprepared on a His Holiday, I swear) and the other part of me reveling in the timeliness of my mistake. He was home in 3 minutes flat. I practically chewed my lip off in an attempt to "bite my tongue" over his decision to leave us, literally. Don't ream him on Father's Day, he can do what he wants. That's not nice. It's not like you planned something extravagant for him here at home. Rip him a new one tomorrow.
That lasted until the kids were asleep and he opened with, "Did I do something wrong?" And then the floodgates were open, the dam burst, all bets were off, and I sprang into action with my teeth bared and my claws out. Boy oh boy did I put the finishing touches on a perfectly horrible Father's Day.
SSOOO, this entire week I am making an effort to be not just good to my husband, but unexpectedly great to the mostly amazing Father of my Kids. Last night, I whipped up a gorgeous meal for dinner and had it on the table when he arrived home. I cut my gym workout short this morning so I could pick up coffee and muffins on my drive home (and I wasn't late). I'm working up my next surprise to redeem myself for being such an ungrateful, bitchy, and thoughtless wife to the Father of My Children (despite his rare and minuscule shortcomings). I'm hoping to quietly redeem myself by the end of the week. I'll keep you posted.

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