Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

Here's my family, the proud patriarch and his smiling, happy girls. Sometimes I feel badly that we didn't have a son. Raf came from a family of four kids from a force-of-nature Israeli dad, growing up with a strong older sister and two younger brothers. All of them could bond over sports and business, topical issues, politics, farting, burping, scratching. Okay, so their sister is far more demure than all of that, but she was able to allow the men in her family to be who they are, not always nagging about the farting, burping, bodily noises, Adam's apples and other unexplainable male traits.
Coming from that background, my husband is still a little flummoxed by the girliness in our household. There's drama, there's a lot of chatter, lots of pink and fluff and frills, more tears than any injury could truly justify, and (for him) the unnecessary nuisance of someone always acknowledging a strange smell or noise. And so I feel badly that he doesn't have a son to share these things with, along with the sheer physicality, strength and logic that another male in the house could provide.
The other sad thing is the loss that I can tell he's feeling today. I mean, we had a GREAT day. We're in Malibu and our good friends spent the whole day with us, beachin' it and hanging out in the sun. But when his brother Sky called after dinner and they were reminiscing about their dad, I felt his sadness. He remembered that, when his dad was alive, Father's Day was ALL ABOUT ISAAC. No one could bow out, no matter the reason. If he wanted to BBQ (something my husband really doesn't love to do), well then, we'd BBQ. After he got off the phone with Sky, Raf said, "I forget that I'm not the only fatherless child." He was, of course, referring to losing his dad three and a half years ago, but I know he was also feeling the recent loss of his brother Max, whose strong personality was so much like Isaac's.
We're staying in Isaac's beach house, where Sky grew up, while we wait the last few days for our new house to be finished. On one hand, I'm thrilled to spend the first few days of summer in a lazy haze on this famous beach road, watching the sun move across the sky as the girls jump the waves for hours on end. But on the other hand, this is where Max spent his last few months and I know it's suddenly become the saddest place in the world for Raf, and it's been hard for him to relax and truly enjoy this time.
Today, however, he seemed to let go and enjoy the sound of the tide. I caught him looking at the ocean a lot, as though he was memorizing this spot and the bewitching spell it cast on both his father and his brothers. At one point, the girls were laughing and yelling at the waves and he laughed, remembering how he and Max had done the exact same thing as kids.
It's a cycle, life. The kids become the fathers and the fathers must leave the earth to, hopefully, become kids once more. As a mother, it's hard to just sit back and observe this dance that kids and fathers do, but it's not my place to interrupt or even to understand. Just like the sun, dancing across the sky until it trades places with the moon, I must orbit this relationship, witnessing and recording it, saying that yes, it happened, and yes, it was magical.

1 comment:

  1. Erin, I so enjoy your writing. The last paragraph where you talk about the kids becoming fathers... big tears in my eyes!! Glad your family had a nice day together.