I had the kids do a little card, but the real surprise was this one from Julian. After they did the card I suggested, Julian took it completely upon himself, asking only for a little spelling help without even telling me what he was doing, to write this:
("A cannon shot far" is apparently a measure of distance, sort of like saying "thiiiis much.")
I love you!
A cannon shot far!
This was much much better than the standard "Happy Father's Day" I had him write on my card.
Some Moms in my 2004 Las Madres group suggested asking your 5-year-old a set of questions about Mom, or for today, Dad, and then videotaping the answers. I thought that was a great idea, though didn't have much time to execute. It wasn't exactly a surprise, and I should have planned the questions better, but here's what the boys had to say about Dad:
Katrina is all too happy to go with Dad to the supermarket, even agreeing immediately to go pee and wash hands first.
I think Dad really enjoys this time alone with her, though Gabriel barged in on the party. Then Julian wanted to join him too, but I put the kibosh on that -- grocery-shopping on a Sunday evening is annoying enough, but with the boys together, forget it!
So Julian and I had some more time alone together while the others were grocery-shopping, in addition to the hours we spent together digging up weeds in the front yard this afternoon. I was starting to gather dinner items when Julian suddenly burst into the kitchen to inform me: "Inside atoms, there are soldiers called electrons, who march in circles." Then he added, the continuity somewhere in his mind but lost in his retelling, "And when you turn the light on there's a circle and when you turn it off, the circle is broken." He really does like his science classes if these thoughts are churning around in his mind to break through all the poop talk.
(Speaking of which, we're getting frustrated with Katrina, who still absolutely will not go #2 in the toilet. Three cleanups today, as usual, and it's really really getting old with no sign of progress in sight. My trump card is to threaten her with diapers again, but I doubt that'd work, and I don't want to go there anyway. There's got to be something to break this impasse!)
All in all, it was a nice Father's Day, despite the painful and shameful jab of wanting to call my own father today, but not daring to...any call I make might be the one in which all recognition is lost, and I wasn't sure I could take that today.
As for immediate family, we made no attempt or even discussion at going anywhere. Out to breakfast? Pshaw. Breakfast was my usual major Sunday affair -- zucchini-pancetta frittata, maple-brushed baked bacon, homemade buttermilk blueberry pancakes, fresh-cut fruit, tea, English muffins. I encouraged Dave to go off on a ride today, it was beautiful out, but he wasn't in the mood. Though we spent most of our time doing important things (arguably "work") around the house today, we were all very content to just be at home together. I can't think of a better way to spend Father's Day.