Saturday, September 1, 2007

Family day (My Sacred Life, day 8)

While this is not a current photo, Julia and I have gotten so much better looking since this shot was taken two summers ago that it might cause problems with the entire Internet thingie if we were so bold as to post what we look like now.

In actuality, the most change has occurred with Claire, the baby of the family. She is now as tall as her sisters and bound for 5'10", if you ask me. She is now 15.5 years of age, a sophomore in high school, and following in her sister Allison's athletic footsteps. The others, from left to right, are Aubrie, a college senior majoring in operatic vocal performance (she loves jazz ten times as much), Claire, Allison, a college sophomore and engineering major (the jock of the four girls and potentially the best Ultimate Frisbee player in history), and Wendy-Anne, a senior in high school and the most fun, ever.

Today is Family Day because I am missing my kids already, and Julia and I don't leave for our 18-day trip until the middle of the week. It's not like I see them all that often, given that two are in college (both within easy driving distance I am happy to note) and two are in high school (not even vaguely cool, hanging with D.o.D.). Still, it is possible to imagine that I might figure a way to spend time with one or more of them, even if it is only in my head that such an event is possible.

The thing is, once Julia and I and the furry kids hit the road in the predawn hours of Thursday, I know for a fact I will see none of my children for 18 days, and probably even a few days more than that. In the 21.5 years since I became a father, I have never been without seeing my kid(s) for that extended a period. The furry kids, in my mind's eye, are sort of my step-dogs, not because I don't want to claim them, but because they are such momma's dogs that when I come home and they are in their happy place (the dog crate where they stay when no one is home), they don't even say hello. Now, it's not like they have seen who it is! The front door is not visible from their happy place. Still, they can feel the difference between me coming into the house and MOM! coming in the front door.

Bless their little stubborn hearts, they do love it when I come home from work--assuming Julia is already home, which is by far the most frequently occurring case--as they greet me at the front door with barking and sniffing as if they have never seen me before in their entire lives. So comforting.

For you dog lovers out there, we have dachshunds. For those of you who are only peripherally aware of dogs, we have wiener dogs. For those of you who have dachshunds of your own, you probably were nodding affirmatively all the way through my description of step-dogs who love momma best.

I should point out that my four daughters are Julia's stepdaughters. The children have their primary residence--those not in college, at least--with their mom. They live about a mile from our house.

Bless you and your family as we in the States settle in for the three days of Labor Day weekend.

[editor's note: D.o.D. stands for "Dear old Dad." It is a name I gave myself a few years ago, as presumptuous as that sounds. Julia taught me that, if there is something you want, you need to be willing to ask for it. In this case, no asking was needed! I pronounced myself D.o.D., and it became so.]


Olivia said...

Beautiful family, Rick, and great post! I also noticed that your wife is quite talented in her own right, too...her book looks wonderful. I hope you have an amazing vacation!

Hamguin said...

Olivia--my wife is the powerhouse in this family, I have to tell you! We love the work we do together, and we are going to love, just as much, being off work, together!

Thanks for visiting!

The Dream said...

Rick, Thanks so much for kind words you posted on my blog - MUCH appreciated. I LOVE the way you write - sharp-witted and good-humored. A truly lovely family you have ... enjoy your time away this weekend!

kwright said...

Rick, you have a beautiful family! Enjoy your time away and savor each and every moment!

Sylvain said...

You have a beautiful family Rick, you are truly blessed. Thanks for your comment on my blog too. Enjoy your trip.

Patti said...

Such a happy family and it is clear to see you ARE a dear old dad and that your family IS sacred. A beautifully written post.

Julie said...

What a beautiful family!

Paula said...

~waving hello from South America~ Nice meeting you and your family Rick. :)
Thanks for your comment at my place.