Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day

It was an excellent Father's Day. Last year, it was just my dad, my son, and I for Father's Day, since we were in the middle of the Big Move. This year was the polar opposite: My dad, my son, my daughter, me, my mom, my sister, two nephews, and a niece. My dad had a Father's Day with ALL of his grandchildren. What could be better?

Well...maybe peace and quiet....but that ain't gonna happen at my house for awhile....

We cooked pre-fabbed chicken cordon bleu for dinner, and had cake and ice cream.

And my ex? Son has been dodging his calls because he's tired of his dad's griping. Ex emailed me last week, wanting me to intervene and make him call back. I told him: "Wait....wouldn't that be controlling of me to make him call? You said I'm too controlling, so I'm really making an effort to change that. Besides, when I last tried to help you, I got screamed at. Son is almost 17. I think you two can work it out."

So, on Sunday, my ex had his stepson text Son. When Son responded, ex called him. The text told him Son was available and had his phone in-hand. Son talked to him for Father's Day, which was probably a good thing.

However, Daughter also tried to call him. She left a Father's Day message on his voicemail and asked him to call back. He did not.

He's burning bridges with her, and it breaks me heart for her. I don't understand why he's this way with her. She's spectacular, but he can't be bothered to even ask about her interests or react to her excitement over something. How much effort does that take?

I didn't tell you, dear Diary, what happened while we were in Salt Lake City. On our last night there, we went to this place called The Mayan Adventure. It's a restaurant that feels like a Disney Theme Park ride. You walk into this building that looks like a Mayan temple and are greeted by people in safari-type outfits, in an environment that looks like an expedition camp. They lead you through tunnels until it opens up to a large are with "ruins" on all sides, with three stories of tables nestled into them, and three-story cliffs with waterfalls and a pool. Every 15 minutes, the Mayan King and natives appear and do a show on the waterfalls. The natives are actually cliffdivers!

Pretty dang exciting, for a Sunday dinner!

They serve Mexican food, which is surprisingly inexpensive. My daughter is not an adventurous eater, and her dad rides her about trying something new. So, she did. She had poblano alfredo pasta. The whole dish was green.

She looked at it and said, "Dad's not going to believe I'm eating this." She took a photo with her phone and sent a message to him. After a long time of no response, during which her excitement over this whole experience was building, I suggested she go ahead and call him, to share it with him.

When he answered, she started chatting a mile a minute about all she was seeing and trying. She was so happy to be sharing it with him! It had been an overwhelming three days for her and she just let it pour out.

Now, I've probably not mentioned that my ex is in foodservice sales, supplying all a restaurant needs. One of his more annoying habits (and there are a number) is to check the sugar packets and silverware at restaurants to see who their supplier is.

When she slowed down and paused for his reaction to all of her news, I watched her listen to him. Her broad smile melted away, and she looked down at the table. "No, Daddy," she said, quietly. "There aren't any sugar packets on the table that I can check."

My heart broke, my temper boiled, and I wanted to cry and scream at the same time. She hung up the phone and whispered, "I hate it when he does that." I pushed my shock and sorrow out of sight and worked very hard to salvage that evening. She was smiling and laughing again by the time we left.

Come Father's Day, after a full week of being away at camp and not speaking to her dad, Daughter was happy to just leave a voicemail for him. She didn't try to call again.

Ranger came over for Father's Day dinner. I gave him a book and CD he wanted, and a sweet card. It meant the world to him. He'd talked to his son early in the day. His daughter called from camp while he was at my house. He's been tiptoeing around the "girlfriend" subject, not knowing how his daughter feels about it.

When he answered the phone, she could hear my household sounds in the background. "Where are you?" she asked.

"Having dinner at a friend's house," he said.

"Your girlfriend?" she asked. He hesitated, so she added: "It's okay, Dad. Mom told me about it. It's all right."

"I'm glad to hear that," he said.

"What's her name?" she asked.


"That's a cute name! I like that."

And they proceeded to talk about her camp and such, for about a half an hour. He was a little teary-eyed when he got off the phone. He loves his children so intensely.

At dusk, we sat on the porch and watched the sunset. The birds started coming out and diving through our yard.

"Are they getting bugs?" I asked, trying to figure out the activity.

"Yes," Ranger said. "But those aren't birds."

I looked harder. What on earth were they then? I gasped as it dawned on me.

Bats. We have bats.

Ranger once worked at Carlsbad Caverns. So, he stood at the edge of the porch and made a clicking sound. He was calling the bats. And it worked! They flew closer and closer to us. A baby bat flew right over our heads. "Stellaluna!" my niece exclaimed.

I watched Ranger with the children, showing them how to change their position to make the bats more curious about them and drawing them closer. We had kids all over the back lawn, with its huge slope down to the pond. Each child was in a different pose, with arms outstretched, gasping and oohing and ahhing as the bats flew overhead.

Their little faces were almost as delighted as Ranger's, standing among them with his own arms held skyward. My dad sat on the porch laughing at all their antics.

It was a good Father's Day in the Blogget household.


Walker said...

Its great that youhad a nice fathers day.
Its a shame your EX doesn't know how to be more personable with hisown kids, maybe that will come down the road when he realizes wha he is missing.

Ranger seems to know how to enjoy kids and how to peek their curiousity even if it was a little batty ;)

Lady in red said...

As walker said its good that you had such a lovely family time.

It is so sad that some dad's don't know how much they are missing by not grasping the opportunities they have with their children, whilst there are other parents who would do any thing to have these chances with their own children, but don't get them.

Blogget Jones said...

Walker -- a litte batty....LOL!!

Lady -- couldn't agree more! I'm afraid he'll realize what he's missed and it'll be too late. I don't like the man, but that would be tragic for all concerned.

I have a friend whose ex has made sure he hasn't seen his daughters in several years. What he wouldn't do for the opportunities my ex has....