Sunday, June 17, 2012

Looking Westward Towards Eden

First things first....

To Bill, Kelly, Russ, Joe and Glenn, who make up a quintet of the finest dads I know. Each has shepherded from tykedom to adulthood their respective branches of the family business. I wish each of them nothing but the best and happiest of Father's Days. Through their good efforts the next generation of the Kenny family has not only taken root but it has flourished - and in the case of Kelly and Glenn - has moved onward into the next, next generation. Thus for those two the wishes are not only for them as dads but as dear old granddads as well. The down side for me is that their status as grandfather elevates me to that of "great uncle" and as any of my posse of nieces and nephews can attest, I have done little to earn the sobriquet.

In the almost two decades during which Margaret and I have been married I have been truly blessed in that I have become part of her family, which features two outstanding dads of its own: my father-in-law Joe and my brother-in-law Frank. About eighteen months ago, Frank's oldest daughter Megan gave birth to twins so he has already joined the Granddad Club while Joe has been elevated to the rank of "Great-Grandfather"....which status he earned years before Halle and Nicholas announced their arrival. To these two men upon whom I rely for guidance and support on a daily basis, I hope Father's Day is the happy day they deserve and have earned.

This year finds both of my two adults at least a time zone removed from the State of Concrete Gardens. From time to time I use this space to express the incredible pride I feel in them and the person each has become and the tremendous admiration I have for them. Suz and Rob are both incredible. They are every inch their mother's children. Margaret is the great miracle of my life. It still boggles my mind that at the time I fell in love with her, I was entrusted with the privilege and the responsibility of becoming a parent to these two. Once upon a time they were rugrats. Today, they are accomplished, content, complete adults.

I spent their respective childhoods doing little more than driving the car when we needed to be someplace and making sure that all of the bills were paid. It is almost incomprehensible to me that a man whose own fear of being beyond shitty at being a father guided many of my life's decisions up until I met and fell in love with Margaret had the chance to be a spectator in the lives of these two amazing kids. I am my father's son, which means I am atrocious at expressing to those for whom I feel the most love precisely what it is I feel. I hope that at some level, throughout the years, the message has been received.

And as my two have moved on out into the world as full-fledged adults, I think of two of my oldest friends - Mark and Dave - each of whom has become a father for the first time within the last year or so. Frankly, I would be terrified if I was in their shoes. Luckily for all concerned, I am not. And better still for Mark's twins, Dana and Mark, and Dave's little dude Indy, they have the best possible man for the job. Plus, in a pinch Indy has Uncle Carl too who - to paraphrase James McMurtry - is "one bad-ass Iguana".

....Lost but not forgotten,
From the dark heart of a dream
Adam raised a Cain....


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