Saturday, June 2, 2012

a father's love

steve shows his love for our children in so many ways.  he impressed me with two things in particular over the past several days:

he handled a difficult situation the other night with diana magnificently.  where i was feeling angry and hurt and was unlikely to keep my cool, he took care of things and was calm, matter-of-fact, and respectful in his approach with her.  he did not punish or blame, but instead described our expectations and invited her to participate in a discussion with him about those expectations and how to meet them.  he gave her the opportunity to engage, ask questions, and answer them, too. and he listened to her and heard what she had to say.  there were no harsh tones or explosions of exasperation from either; both of them emerged from the long talk feeling connected and with resolve to work together to meet a common goal.  i was calmer just having listened from another room, and diana came to me afterwards to reconnect with me.

steve has such a gift with words.  it is just one part of what makes him a wonderful teacher; it is a very important part, though.  i wish i had the same facility with language and nuance that he does.  it's not just that, he also has an incredibly (to me) optimistic attitude towards people and life in general.  he sees things for how they could be, and it's in a positive way.  he's a forward-thinker, able to put things in a long-range perspective.  he can be thoughtful and appreciate things from the past without getting mired down by them.

he is also a creative and ingenious problem-solver.  shortly after steve's return home, ander's infatuation with his new space station legos turned towards an intense craving for the lego space shuttle.  while we'd love to get the kids every lego set their precious hearts desire, it's just not feasible to do so.  when steve was sorting through some of his more vintage pieces, he realized that there were quite a few white pieces.  enough to make his own version of a shuttle, in fact.  so he got to work forming the base; he knew if he could get that, the rest would surely come.  and he was right.

open door #1 - the payload bay - to find a satellite
open door #2 to find four astronauts, two of them at computer terminals

that's not even the best part, though.  after having assembled it, he took it apart, piece by piece, and took pictures of every step.  that way, ander had his very own set of instructions to build the space shuttle, with a little help from daddy, of course.  brilliant!

the kids have come to see steve as the "daddy-who-can-do-anything."  he promised diana he would build her a playhouse, and he did. 

ander asks him to create a structure from duplos or legos or play-doh, and steve finds a way to fulfill that wish.  he makes their birthday cakes based on whatever they ask for or really love: most recently a toadstool for diana and the st louis arch for ander.

this thing was a foot tall!

steve lives what he believes - the first answer to a question can be a "yes."  what a refreshing and lovely way to experience life, and how beneficial for our children to be raised in such an encouraging environment.

i am happyer to be at home today because i live and learn and parent with my best friend and partner for life.

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