Sunday, June 19, 2011

i'm a dad

back in 1966, i left england and an entire world to join my father in canada.
he had left a year earlier to establish a life for his wife and two children.
i learned more about the process of that much later when, as an adult,
my parents saw that i could better understand
the terms of the trials and tribulations of their own relationship and how they impacted on life-changing decisions that affected not only their own lives but the lives of countless generations to come.

one day i'll write about how that process affected me
and how its echoes are still echoing.

for now though,
it is extraordinary to me to sit here as a pre-mature adult and think on the course of my life
and the emerging lives of my children.
in fact, it's overwhelming and so i think i'll let that settle in its place.

i love to see, to hold, to know, to be with, and to wonder at my children.

i have been gifted with three.

my oldest boy is alan. he's the boy on the left of the picture above.
he emerged from my first marriage.
alan is so clever, so insightful, so creative, so articulate, and so very much himself.
watching him become himself is an extraordinary privilege and a special joy.

dawson arrived as the first child of my second marriage. he's the boy on the right of the image above.
dawson has so much of me wrapped up inside him wrestling to get out. as soon as he lets that all settle where it will, he'll find himself. i can hardly wait to see the look of astonishment on his face when he finally sees who he is for himself. and only for himself.

in the meantime, it's amazing to watch him learn about the world. the processes are so transparent and so convoluted, sometimes so painfully real and sometimes so beautiful.

alexia (lexie) arrived as the second child of my second marriage.
she is entirely herself and then also her mother.
it's extremely cool to have a daughter.

she provides a necessary balance.
vertically, horizontally, inside and outwards.
for her brothers and for me.

the small and large processes of becoming that a girl passes through are so distinct to those of a boy - and i'm using gender to distinguish but not define who they are - and yet dawson and lexie are very very close.
i love that as much as anything in my life.

it must drive them nuts but i feel a flood of pure love when i see them making their way
through the murk and muzz of their lives
they have reached the point in their lives where they are like cats in their "i need you not" relational pieces but they are also so like puppies in their need for attention and adoration.

i could never have imagined the glorious entirety of being a parent in its all-consuming, all-fulfilling totality.

i'm just glad i get to live it.

happy father's day to all you dads out there!


Jj Rodriguez said...

everything is normal don't worry. as much you are lucky to have them, they too are too lucky too have you.

lovely pics!

happy father's day!


Dan Gurney said...

Well said, steven. If ever there was mystery and magic and wonder in the world it's in parenting. More than a PhD in life, wouldn't you say?

Happy Father's Day to you as well!

Kathleen said...

Such incredibly lucky children, Steven. I love how their individuality shines though. Anyone who can wear orange is so so fine! Does Alan share your passion for color? Such a great name, Dawson, and it appears to fit so well. Distinguished and grounded. Lexie--what a bright light shining through. Happy Father's Day!

Linda Sue said...

Movie star kids! WOW! You've got some good genes in your jeans! Happy Pa day to you- parenting is the most amazing experience EVER!
Great post!

More Than Meets the I said...

There is a fine line between being a guide on their side and suffocating our children with our love, but I can feel you are doing a brilliant job there. Your family is lovely. Happy Father's Day, Steven :)

Emille said...

The hardest task on earth and the most beautiful is to be for parent and child to be in relationship:)

SG said...

Happy Father's Day, Steven.
Loved reading your sentiments about your kids.

Titus said...

Great post, and a very Happy Father's Day to you. It's lovely to say that to a happy father.

Ruth said...

I feel the love here that you have for your kids so palpably. I can feel their souls glowing through your words and your images of them. I wish you a beautiful Father's Day.

I absolutely love everything you wrote, and feel those same things about our two children. Now that I am going to have a grandchild through my daughter, the feelings are multiplying beyond anything I could have imagined.

Reya Mellicker said...

Happy father's day to you, Steven! Your children are BEAUTIFUL, wow and Wow and WOW, not necessarily in that order.

Gorgeous post. Thank you!

ellen abbott said...

happy father's day steven.

aguja said...

'I could never have imagined the glorious entirety of being a parent in its all-consuming, all-fulfilling totality'
Brilliantly expressed and echoing my own sentiments on parenthood.
Thank you so much for sharing your family with us ... and enjoy Father's Day

OceanoAzul.Sonhos said...

steven, happy day for you and for your beautiful family. Children are a big part of our balance. I also have two boys, they are everything to me.
Best regards.

hope said...

And Happy Father's Day to a man who obviously knows the ins and outs of fatherhood.

Hubby and I both lost our dads early but I think they would've gotten a kick out of the fact that today...we went fishing. :)

Friko said...

They may pretend that your love drives them nuts now, but they will be eternally grateful for it and feel secure in the knowledge of it.

Lovely bunch of kids you got.

Meri said...

What a wonderful dad's eye view of the journey into total love called parenthood!

Valerianna said...

Wonderful to see your kids! Soul shining eyes -all. I love how you speak of and witness them.

I spent yesterday and today with my Dad. My mum told me that when he awoke this morning he said, "I"m happy, my daughter is here and we're seeing the rest of the family today, too!" I often feel I could do so much more for my Dad who has been an amazing support in so many ways including financial ( living this artists life that I do.... ) but it was good to hear that just driving the three hours and showing up for him was all he really needed.

steven said...

oh my goodness thankyou for these kind and lovely comments about my children. it's my tremendous fortune to be blessed with these three people in my life believe me!! thankyou. steven

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos and lovely kids. It's so nice to hear a father express his love for his children.

erin said...

beautiful, steven. just beautiful. those three smiles in that last shot, i believe them. i can't help but smile back. and what you say about the emergence of their characters, well, i'm watching it happen right here with mine. it's funny, isn't it, but being a parent is paying witness to miracles. oh, they'd roll their eyes, wouldn't they, but we know.

(hope it was a blessed day. bet it was.)