Jon and mini-him

I never need to miss Jon too much when he’s out of town because Maria acts as a mini-him.

This morning Mario begged to play with the iPad and I let in after the fifth plea just to have some quiet. Maria shook her head at me and counseled “you have to say no to him, mom, and not give in.” Then we were walking out the door to head to school and I had a ceramic bowl of apples for Mario. Maria saw them and scolded me.

“You aren’t letting Mario take that nice bowl into school, are you?”

I saw Jon channeled through her at that moment. I burst out laughing and found myself responding like I would to Jon. “No babe, I’m not going to let Mario bring in the bowl to school.”

As I drove to work, I realized I did let Mario take the bowl into school. Jon and mini-him would be so disappointed….


Top Ten reasons I love my man on Father’s Day

10. He s our protector!  There is no one or no thing that will mess wth us when he is near us.  Example: he took me to a Prince concert years ago, got me near the stage to dance, and played bodyguard the entire time to make sure no one messed with me. 

9. He loves family.  He would do anything for family, and always gives his two cents on matters to try to help family members through binds.  He gets so excited on days that we are heading to family gatherings.  Example: when we hosted my cousin’s graduation party, he woke up bright and early and began preparing food and drink with a big ol’ smile on his face.

8. He cracks us up.  I laugh harder with him than I do with any other human being.  And the kids find him hilarious, too.  Example: I have never heard Maria laugh as hard as when she is with Jon.  Her face gets super red, her smile is huge, and her entire body shakes in pleasure. 

7. He is so patient (and I am so not).  He helps me slow down and take a breath and savor a moment here and there.  Example: he makes me calm down and savor the “down time” while we are standing in Kroger’s check-out line and I start to get irritated that other lines are moving faster.

6. He is good-hearted.  If someone is in need – be it family, a friend, or a homeless guy on the street – he will lend an ear to talk with them and help them out.  Example: he saw a homeless man when he was on his way to Target and the homeless man kept talking to him about his life story.  Jon just listened and when the homeless man stopped talking and asked for a little help, Jon handed him $20. 

5. He is generous.  He takes time out of busy days to visit family and friends.  He doesn’t think twice about helping out family members in need, friends down on their luck, or the homeless person on the corner.  Example: when a family member ran into some hard times, Jon approached me and recommended that we give her some money to help her through the rough time.

4. He is STRONG. As many times as we play fight, I ahve never won a match.  He can pick up heavy machinery, mounds of trach, and even a car, I believe.  He hasn’t worked out at a gym since we dated years ago, but his calves and thigs and biceps are still bulging with muscle.  Example: when we go out, people ask him if he’s a football player!  Hot!

3. He is my number one supporter.  When we go out with friends, he always has a story about how I won a race or ran 10 miles or biked up major hills.  I always know he backs me up in all that I do.  Example: when I completed the marathon, he bragged to people that I had barely trained but I finished the marathon.  He believes in me. 

2. He is a superstar husband.  He surprises me with lottery tickets.  He fixes my bike when it breaks.  He massages my legs when I am sore.  He always listens to me when I am dealing with a problem.  He stands by me no matter if he agrees with my decision or not.  He tells me he loves me every day.  He watches the kids while I take a much-needed run.  Example: when I accidentally scheduled an excursion to a pipeline field in Alaska and we stayed in a work trailer for two days of our honeymoon, he didn’t divorce me, and he even laughed about it with me (six months later!).

1.  He is an incredible father.  The kids think he is the most awesome person on this Earth, and when he goes on business trips, they whine every morning that they wish he was home.  He is not shy about telling them that he loves them at least three times a day. He wrestles with Mario and plays Memory with Maria.  He makes sure that they have everything they need.  He spoils them with books and toys.  Example: every night before bed, he makes sure he gives them both uge hugs and kisses and tells them that he loves them.  A true gift from a dad to a child.

Missing Dad

Maria will be such a happy camper when her dad returns. She has been missing him like crazy and as each day gets closer to when he returns, she gets more and more melancholy about him being away. She saw a plane in the sky yesterday, and sighed “that makes me think of Daddy.”

It’s no wonder she misses him – the two of them are carbon copies of each other. They both see everything and never miss a beat. Whereas Mario and I could trip right over a $20 bill on the ground, Maria and Jon could spot it behind a row of bushes. Maria can make me laugh with her one-liners just as hard as Jon makes me laugh. Maria and Jon can dish it out to each other for minutes on end without breaking a smile, and then, when neither of them have broken, they both smile at each other at the same time so as not to let the other one “win.” Maria can’t stand to have you reach over and grab food from her plate just like Jon (although he does cut an exception out for me unlike Maria). Maria can get you to believe a made-up story she tells almost as often as Jon can (he still gets me fifteen years later). Maria hates the heat and would rather sit in the AC all day just like her pops. Maria has that shrewd business sense that Jon has: the other night we were eating dinner together and Jon was complaining about work problems. Maria looked over at him and counseled “You should definitely fire people.” She is going to be ten times tougher than Jon, actually….

So, when she finally fell asleep tonight after rubbing her back for 15 minutes and listening to her whimper about missing daddy, I emptied her book bag to get it ready for tomorrow. When I reached in her folder to see if she brought any paperwork home, I found a white envelope with the word “Dad” written on it. A little red heart was drawn beside it.

Melt my heart.

It was sealed shut so I decided I would not rip it open to see what it says. But I am quite sure that it will bring tears to Jon’s eyes when he reads it because I know he loves that baby girl more than anything. Or maybe she is acting just like him and playing a trick on him like he plays on all of us family members and there is nothing inside of it… I think that would bring even more proud tears to his eyes.