Monday, June 16, 2014

Fatherhood, creatively

We had a lovely Father's Day weekend. On Saturday, we wandered around Cleveland Flea, a monthly gathering of vendors, a mix of those selling retro items and those creating something entirely new, many celebrating Cleveland's  'rust belt chic' status. As a city, Cleveland is an example of something old, getting repurposed with a creative twist.  At Cleveland Flea there is an eclectic mix of stalls: organic farms, hand crafted leather goods, jewelry, musicians, food trucks and, (Need it be said?) fabulous people watching opportunities.

Then, we went over to the art inspired  "Parade on the Circle," which the Ramers have a long history of attending.  Embracing creativity, and often in an effort to get those juices flowing, Dan likes to look at what others come up with.  This collection of ideas, often executed with whimsy and on large scale, never disappoints.  We have joked that we must be trend setters, because both of these events have really become quite popular...the paper reported that there were 80,000 people at Wade Oval this year.  It was fantastic.  Our favorite group at the parade had giant stilt people, dressed as characters in Alice in Wonderland having high tea- a truly high tea, as the rolling tables and chairs stood perhaps 15 feet tall.

We rounded out the day with Dan's father at his home, with a bonfire, BBQ and cornhole, which somehow felt like the very epitome of Father's Day. It is not at all surprising that two of these activities involve fire. It was spectacular, and perfect.

We have always encouraged one on one time with the kids, but have not really had time to in the past several years. I am grateful for the opportunity.

The girls went with Dan to the zoo yesterday, which is one of Olivia's all time favorite excursions.  Alex will be going camping with Dan in a few weeks, and in his excitement, put up a tent in our front yard, to ensure that we still had all of the poles.  Brent cleaned out Dan's car for him (which he declared truly appalling) and will be having a date with him, biking in the park. (We get to celebrate Brent's milestones twice- like learning to walk or riding a bike.) 

Dan has always been the one with the good ideas. I am glad that the kids, with some prodding, are coming up with a few of their own.  I like that we have been graced with some family time.  I am really happy that it appears that we will have some more, knitting our family together with bonds of common experience. 

Our kids, I know, have challenges.  Lauren and Brent, medically.  But all of them have experienced events that are potentially damaging to them psychologically.  But I think, truly believe, that they are doing fine.  Dan, with his ability to whip up some fun, serving as the example of optimism and making the best of any situation, well, this is his legacy.  There are lessons that they take from him:  Life can be hard, but we do our best every day.  We work hard, take care of our responsibilities and prepare.  And then we have fun.

I wonder which bit of creativity over the weekend most grabbed Dan's attention.  He does things on grand scale and full of whimsy as well.  Sandcastles, snowmen and scarecrows. 

And he lets me ride his creative coattails, as he takes the broken or worn out things and repurposes them, making something beautiful.

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