May 8, 2016

For Mothers You See

Mothers are a symphony. Writing and conducting complex systems like a carefully constructed calculus. And fathers? Well sometimes we feel like a clumsy busker struggling with the chords of a classic tune, unable to even add up the change in our tills.

Mothers create ecosystems that work, and although we dads try to make ourselves useful, it is probably just easier for mothers to do most of it themselves.

“What can I do? How can I help?” But fathers’ systems are different. They work more slowly and erratically, like a jazz, so in reality they do not look like systems at all. They are more improvisational and rarely get done what needs to get done when it needs to get done and definitely not the way a mother's system would...

For mothers you see, make sure the house is stocked with medicine and have memorised the dosages. They never discount a lice scare, but instead stay up late applying the olive oil and get up early to comb out the nits.

For mothers you see, clean the organic vegetables and add the chia seeds to the oatmeal. They buy the groceries, plan and make the meals. They bake the vegan banana bread for breakfast and pack the lunches with the daily notes reminding the kids that they're loved.

For mothers you see, book the vacations and manage the funds. They know when everyone needs new underwear and socks. They book the doctor's visits and the dentist. They download the movies and shows we all watch.

For mothers you see, fill up the car with gas when it is a quarter tank full, and fill in the calendar with every event and the playdates they have set up. They by the tickets for the plays and tin school concerts, shows, or the student led conferences and deadlines to sign up for activities. They check the homework and practice the french. They make sure the guitar is practiced and the math understood. They bring the sunscreen, the extra clothes, and the coloring books.

For mothers you see, will work two jobs to make sure the family has insurance. They will take you shopping for next year’s school clothes. They will be the rock when the separation becomes real. They will scratch your back and pick the pomegranate. They will listen when you're alone and send you money when you need it.

For mothers you see, are the hearts and anchors of every household, in every culture, the world over. Thank you for all you do moms. I for one know that as a dad and a son I can never make it up to you.

Don’t worry dads, I will write a post about what we do in a few weeks. Might not be as organized, but I assure you it is important too. At least that is what I tell myself.

What did you do this weekend?

The answer is always such a vague search for me. My immediate response is usually, “nothing.” Which I like the sound of, but seems so unexciting, when in reality I really enjoy our weekends.

They are a bit routine and predictable, but for now that is okay. They usually include a few runs to Starbucks for coffee and tea. Some sort of physical activity: biking, jumping, swimming, scooting and now skating. There are regularly several arguments of varying intensity, usually in the car. A few naps. You already saw much of what Mairin does up above.

There is often a movie- at home and at the theater. There is reading and guitar playing. Dinner out. Lunch out. Playdates with friends and their kids. Maybe an event or a universal studio run. A hike. There are of course birthday parties and birthday parties. Yeah, I said it twice- there are lots of them. Weekends sometimes include a night out with friends, some wine, some late night music on the headphones alone in the living room. A run here or there.

That’s my typical weekend. When people ask me what I did on the weekend, I am usually left a bit stumped, because I can’t remember which of those things we did, but it’s a safe bet to say we did a few.

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