Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Road Less Traveled-A Father's Day Tribute to Dad

They were watching television. Dear Son was pretty small yet, the floppiest sack of potatoes you would ever meet. His Dad, would sit on the floor with his legs apart and his back leaning against the sofa, and prop Dear Son in a seated position between his legs so that his back would be supported by Dad’s stomach offering full support for Dear Son. Dear Son would tilt his head back, his little mouth would open and Dad would drop a spoonful of his milkshake into Dear Son’s mouth. The milkshake, was a combination of pop and ice cream, that Dear Son loved. Inevitably, at some point, some of the milkshake might run down Dear Son’s chin and onto his shirt, usually a new white one, that would prompt a scolding from Dream Mom, about keeping his shirt clean. The boys nonetheless, would carry on, each happy to share the milkshake together. This tradition, would be repeated over the early years, until Dear Son decided he no longer wanted any ice cream of any kind. By this time of course, he was too large to sit with his Dad.

His Dad was always good to him. When Dear Son was only three, he was sent off to school. I worked part time at that time, and Dad worked the night shift, so he could earn more money to care for our family. Upon coming home from his shift, he would get Dear Son off to school every morning, always on time, and never, ever, even a minute late. I could always count on Dad, to make sure he was fed, warm and dressed for school, even if his clothes weren’t perfectly matched, as I would like. Dad’s idea of fashion, meant that all clothes in the same color family went together, even if the shades were not compatible. Thus, all red tops and bottoms went together, all blue, etc. Sometimes, I would have a fit over this until I would step back and look at the big picture and realize that the important stuff, that he is warm, dressed, and on time for school, were being met. I also decided I could set out his clothes the night before and the dilemma was solved.

Over the years, Dad had one vision. Some call it denial, some call it a vision. I’ll call it a vision, because it’s from the heart. His vision, was that his son would be normal. Any picture that would be taken, would be met with a prompting, “Dear Son sit up straight” so Dear Son would look normal.

Dear Son is the spitting image of his father. As the bus driver once said, "No DNA test required." His Dad is a muscular type, a former competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter in his twenties. We always thought our children would be really into sports; we never dreamed we would use our muscles to lift him into a wheelchair. Dear Son was always a very slim child. My sister used to call them the “Twins” after the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie featuring Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Danny DeVito because Dad was big like Arnold and Dear Son was short like Danny DeVito. Today, Dear Son is getting much taller and it’s looking the roles might be reversed.

More recently, when Dear Son hit puberty, his Dad would teach him how to be a man. He would tell Dear Son that he needed to sit up in his wheelchair like a man or tell him to cough like a man, whatever that means. Or he might tease me for watching my decorating shows and tell me that he was turning on some “car” shows or auto racing for them to watch. I would laugh of course, telling him that those 500 laps did nothing more than put him to sleep. Dear Son didn’t care of course, because he was laughing and sitting with his Dad. His Dad was a father who would give up everything for a son, who could give nothing in return, and yet, it was always more than enough.

Every father has dreams for their only son, the son who will rise up and become the man of his father's dreams. Sometimes, dreams don't work out as you imagined.

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. If you look closely into Dear Son's eyes, I bet you would see the following message, dedicated to his Dad for Father's Day. It would go something like this:

The Road Less Traveled

I am the son, no father every dreamed,
A journey, no father would ever wish for his only son,
A journey, few have traveled,
A journey, none would want,
The road less traveled,
With you Dad, my father, and my friend,
Thanks, Dad, for an incredible ride.

Happy Father's Day with all my love.


Dear Son


zoe said...

What a lovely tribute to Dear Son's Dad. Dream Mom you have such a gift in your writing. Even when the things you write about are hard or painful you convey a sense of honesty and eloquence that can only come from the heart. Thank you for sharing with us and I am happy to hear that Dear son is doing better. God Bless your family!

Fat Doctor said...

Dream Mom: I've not checked in on you for several days and had no idea Dear Son was back in the PICU. To be able to focus on his dad at a time like this is an amazing feat. Stay strong. Prayers are with you from me and, I dare say, all your readers.

jbbzmom said...

Thanks for the look into the other side of ds's relationship with his dad. You and ds are so blessed to have a dad that loves his son in spite of his disabilities. Glad to hear ds's eyes are open. Your family is in my prayers. Bless you dream mom and Happy Fathers Day to your ds's dad...

Wrkinprogress said...

Blessed be and amen. :)


Cathy said...

A great tribute to Dad..Dear son is lucky to have two special parents.

Anonymous said...

That's a wonderful tribute.

Dream Mom said...

Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate all of your concern and more importantly, all of your prayers. They really help.

FD-I wrote this post last week prior to his admission in the PICU; you are correct, I could not have focused on that with everything that is going on.

Kim said...

A beautiful post. And prayers still going up for you and DS.

dki617 said...

I hope you shared this with your son's special dad.

I was really wonderful to read.


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