Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Fracking Father's Day

So it's Father's Day. Scott and I ignored Mother's Day, things being what they are - though we aren't fans of Holidays Brought to You By Hallmark Cards to begin with. I think I'm supposed to be ignoring Father's Day, too, but I've been thinking about it.

I am thinking about Scott's journey over the last few years. He was working at Mad Science of Dallas when Thomas was first diagnosed, managing sales and instructors and thrilling children of all ages with highly scientific explosions. He went without eyebrows a lot.

Now, of course, there's plenty of madness, science, and thrills, but there are fewer explosions and generally enough eyebrows to go around (as long as he ducks when he throws the matches into the barbeque pit). Otherwise, I think Scott still seems himself as the Equipment Manager and Head of Training at home, and I couldn't be happier about it.

I've been so impressed at the way he's taken the whole stay-at-home-dad thing and made it something authentic and about his talents and personality. I don't know a lot of men who could demonstrate that kind of maturity and grace*.

Still, it's an exhausting job. One of the big things everyone says to me as a mom is, "Be sure and take time for yourself." Good advice, and believe me, I tend to err on the side of caution in that area. But because a lot of people forget that men can be caretakers, too, they forget to encourage the men to do the same.

Hospice did not forget that. When Thomas came under hospice's care, they reached out to Scott immediately. They asked him good questions, and came up with a team of helpers who provided additional interaction for Thomas - sitters and play therapists from Gilda's Club or ECI or heaven, more likely - and generally treated Scott like a competant grown-up with a lot on his plate. Their keen observations and funny stories and good suggestions could not be more supportive or timely.

I asked Scott if he wanted to write a blog to explain what a difference they'd made in his ability to go forward, and I didn't hear back for a while. When I checked with him, he said, "I really have been trying. I just keep writing this stuff, and it sounds really stupid. I just want to explain ... I just can't find the right words to say to honor the way these ladies have given their time to help me, and our family..."

So, when I think of Father's day, I am thinking of how Scott has fought his way through the mess of our cancer lives to make himself into the father he hoped he'd be. And, as always, I am thinking of all the people who keep us in fighting shape- these hopsice ladies who delight in Thomas's "'K'Bye!Thangoo!LadYoo!Bye Guys!Mwah!'K'Bye" each time - and all of our family and friends and supporters.

I hate getting sentimental on these Hallmark holidays. I mean, even getting with the spirit of things doesn't guarantee you'll find a card that works. I've been looking for a section called "Father's Day - Star Trek Jokes" for years, but I still haven't found anything for my dad, and the "Thanks for Leaving West Texas" genre of cards leaves us without options for Scott's dad, too.

So I guess if our situation wasn't so dire, I'd have kept looking for that Father's Day card featuring characters from Battlestar Galactica for Scott, but .... as it is, this kind of rambly tribute will have to do.

* shouts out to The D.G. and to G.A., on this - you guys were rocking the nontraditional dad thing way before it was cool

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At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Dee said...

What a glorious picture of Scott and Thomas. What a wonderful day for Father's and children. Scott loves Thomas ---Thomas loves Scott--nuff said! I love you all!


At 6:07 PM, Blogger roxana said...

i love battlestar gallactica and i think scott totally rocks. frackin' cancer.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Carol said...

I think you are my hero. I'm astonished by your strength.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Jana said...

maturity and grace, indeed.


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