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This one’s for you dear husband

June 20, 2010

When Col’s cronies come over, they grub through the latest selection of toys, crunch handfuls of pillow-shaped cereal, then politely inquire “Where’s Dan?” Like most daddies, Col and Rose’s father is often working during the business hours of children, but when Dan appears it’s like Paul Bunyan has thundered down from the mountain. He drives a rust-spangled truck, wields tools on his belt, and his free time—much like the kids—is stacked high with “activities.”

When the kids are in Dan’s care they might be slurping donut crumbs off their fingers on some snarled mountainside at 8:00 am. They could be racing the Durango & Silverton train through downtown Durango via jogging stroller. Strict adherence to naptimes, safety codes and apples cut in bite-sized slices is traded for thrills like a big arm cinched around ones small body while leaping across a roaring creek.

Summer weekends, I cringe from my camp chair while Dan teaches “wood-splitting for urchins.” The kids slam hammers into Dan’s ax, parked atop a piece of fragrant juniper. “Five hits,” he goads and whack, whack, whack, Col splits the wood in three. Even Rose, whose tender sensibilities are offended by the supersonic whine of the vacuum, steps up to bang metal on metal with her sticky paws.

To our family’s padre, this is precisely what I’m thankful for on this Father’s Day:

  1. Inventing games where kids fly through the air, balls fly through the air and where kids and balls fly through the air simultaneously.
  2. Not fretting over distractions like frostbite and hunger when crouching with the kids behind the ancient, Anasazi, stone hunting blind at dawn.
  3. Cutting through the blinding flotsam of emotions and emerging decisive and unapologetic when there are life-altering decisions to make, like which kindergarten Col should attend this fall.
  4. Buying the jumbo marshmallows at the gas station for our campfire instead of checking the natural food stores for an agave-sweetened, marshmallow-like alternative.
  5. Never assuming my job is easier than yours.
  6. Bypassing my thoughtful reading on sibling-rivalry and child-discipline to shout at the kids who’re fighting over the princess shoes: “Get it together kids!”
  7. Trusting that Col will eventually learn the fundamentals of Colorado boyhood–swimming, skiing, biking—and instead cultivating a 3-foot tall archery master who can wallop a bull’s-eye with his homemade bow, because that’s what you love.
  8. Not succumbing to the great temptation to overanalyze the children’s personalities when you could be sleeping, or watching basketball.
  9. Never assuming that Rose isn’t an excellent candidate for junior wrestling champ and pushing her back on the mat with her brother, reminding: “throw your weight into it girl!”
  10. Letting me stay in bed until the coffee’s ready.

Happy, happy Father’s Day to you Dear Dan.

*This next week of blogging (does that word make you cringe just a teeny tiny bit, too?) is dedicated to Dan. Come back for more fun, all week long.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2010 7:30 am

    I wish I could write like you! What a wonderful tribute! Happy Father’s Day Dan!

  2. June 20, 2010 8:50 am

    #4 and #6 made me laugh out loud and throw around some scone crumbs unpolitely. People at the other tables are looking now… maybe I’ll just pass this around so they can see what’s what…

    Happy Father’s Day, Dan, clearly you rock.

  3. June 20, 2010 9:55 am

    rach, that was just the perfect, thoughtful, and deliberate father’s day gift…

  4. Ami permalink
    June 20, 2010 10:33 am

    So well said! I am finding myself appreciating manly things about the Daddy in this house…. things that usually offend my feminine sensibilities! Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. June 20, 2010 12:33 pm

    Happy father’s Day Uncle Dan! We’re missing the Fisher Daddy today, so thanks for the moment to appreciate, Rach! I’m upset about the marshmallows, though… Like when Ben went to Wendys the other day! The nerve!
    Love you guys!

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      June 20, 2010 2:48 pm

      I know. I know. The marshmallows are best when you don’t *think* about them too much.

  6. June 20, 2010 6:45 pm

    Wonderful to love our husbands so much. The Paul Bunyan reference and words surrounding it are killer.

  7. Ellen permalink
    June 20, 2010 8:35 pm

    A beautiful, funny tribute to a wonderful person. “Get it together kids.” is absolutely the right response to a fight over princess shoes…over the years I’ve learned to bypass the analysis and get right to the heart of the matter.

  8. June 20, 2010 11:42 pm

    Dan sounds like a wonderful father and husband.

    I see a bit of my hubby in him. :-)

    P.S. Yes, it was mesa verde! It’s a great memory for me.

  9. June 21, 2010 10:28 am

    That’s an amazing post. Thanks a lot

  10. June 21, 2010 11:07 am

    Thanks so much for this loving tribute to all that’s wonderful about you kids’ dad–I have a tendency to focus on the annoying (whistling at 6:30 a.m.; stealing my pillow; fixing things only after there’s a catastrophe)…now I want to make my own list of what’s fantastic.

  11. June 21, 2010 3:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing all of Dan’s greatest qualities with us in this wonderful post, Rachel. It always makes me happy when the great women I know have a rock-star partner by their sides.

    Happy summer to all of you!

  12. Melissa permalink
    June 21, 2010 3:20 pm


    and i love the cutting through emotional flotsam and jetsam–so true. and thank god to have a partner who can do it, too.

    looking forward to reading more . . .

  13. June 21, 2010 3:55 pm

    “Get it together, kids!” Tell Dan I’m stealing that line. I don’t have time to read all those sibling books I checked out from the library anyway!

  14. June 21, 2010 7:46 pm

    I can’t wait to read more about life with Dan this week. Sounds like a wonderful story to me :)

  15. June 22, 2010 5:24 am

    Awesome post! I love the Paul Bunyan images and how he lets the kids be who they are and enjoys them. Such a great reminder to the rest of us.

  16. June 24, 2010 5:52 pm

    thanks for posting the winged archery shot. love it – can’t get it out of my head.


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