"Put down your knitting, mom."
I was sitting in the bathroom with *I* while he was taking his bath, stealing some time for the yarn and sticks and singing him silly songs when he made that request.
"Make the water squirt with your hands." (Apparently the Husband showed *I* this trick. :) )
I knelt beside the tub, put my hands together and did as he asked...and my mind went back to hot summer days in a pool or the lake with my dad while squirted water up with his one hand.
Other than to cool down, my father really had no love of the water. He couldn't swim. In fact, he often said he just sank. (When I was in 4th grade I tried to teach him LOL...He did sink.) But the reason he "knew" he sank is that when he was about 5 or 6 his dad tossed him into the Hudson River to teach him to swim. He said he sank right to the bottom and crawled out on his hands and knees. He always told the story in a lighthearted way, much the way he told other stories of pain from his youth.
Thinking about my dad last night as I was squirting water for *I*, I thought about all of the ways my dad was so incredibly giving of himself. I thought about his stories and the way that there were very few stories (or people) that seemed to be spoken of in a bitter tone...but if you really, truly crossed him, that was another story altogether.
*I* and I laughed last night as I played in the water with him. It was lighthearted and fun and after he was dry and snug in his PJ's, I gave him a hug and he said, "I love you, mom." and kissed me on the cheek. It felt good, I felt good.
I thought about all the ways my dad (and mom) modeled being a parent. Some good (like squirting water, giving time and attention) and some not so great, but all in all, a good foundation.
Praying that even though we're not perfect people or parents, we can remember and embrace all the good things in our lives and build upon them.