Mother’s Day was this past weekend and I had a great day with my mom and my kids. We went over to her house to hang out with her while my wife did some shopping. For once, my wife wasn’t draped in toddlers and negotiating with our two year to get back into a shopping cart. All in all, it was a good day, but it brought back some memories. Some of those memories were good and some were not so good. On Saturday night, while cleaning our shower, I broke one of the side panels. The damage was not major, but it definitely put me in a tough spot, being that it happened at 11:30 PM. I went to bed knowing that I had my work cut out for me the next day and the shower became almost all I could think of think about.
On Sunday, I was eventually able to fix the shower wish some bubblegum, scotch tape and a lot of elbow grease. While I was down on my knees putting the shower back together, it reminded me of past Mother’s Days from when I was a kid. My two grandmothers’ and my great grandmother would come over to our house right after church, and we would spend most of the day and evening together. There was lots of eating and sitting around talking. The house was loud, it smelled like Italian food, and I loved it. It was always a great feeling to have these four women, who I admired so much in our house all together. These memories have stuck with me over the years. All three of my grandmothers have since passed away, so these memories are all I have left of them. Something like this cannot be replicated, and it can be very difficult to even think about, especially on a day like Mother’s Day.
After I finished cleaning the mess that I had made in the shower, I thought about where my dad was on these types’ days. Nine times out of ten he was fixing something in our house, just like I was. When I was a kid, our house was a fixer upper to say the least. My dad spent a lot of time working on our house and it definitely took away time that we could have all spent together. Fortunately I had my grandmother’s unconditional love and affection, and it never really seemed to bother me. Thinking about it now though, I wish that instead of always being burdened with fixing our house, we could have just spent more time together. This may sound selfish of me, but I think all a kid really wants is to spend time with their parents. I know my kids do. The whole time I was fixing our shower, my kids kept coming into the bathroom to touch everything. My son even made a point to come in and poop while I was in there working, instead of using the downstairs bathroom. I can’t blame him because although he may not be able to express himself fully, he just wanted to be with his dad, just like I did when I was a kid.
Coincidentally, while I was at my mom’s house with my kids, my dad was off doing work. History continued to repeat itself. My dad and I are two men cut from the same cloth, but I now know that I have the ability to change the future. I don’t want to be the dad that is always working or fixing something somewhere. There are times where things obviously need to get done, but if I manage my time better, I believe that I can juggle both. With our shower being broken, it was an emergency situation and it needed to be fixed, but in general I know that I can be more organized and manage my time better. It brings me great joy that my children have a remarkable relationship with my wife and my mom, but I don’t want to be that dad that is a distant memory. I don’t want my kids to think back on a Mother’s Day and ask themselves where I was that day. They may not fully understand my absence now, but I know that someday they will.
This is something I know I have to do better as a dad.