Sunday, June 15, 2014

Reflections on the Journey on Father's Day

It is Father's Day. We don't make much of it in our family but it's all around us, and that has caused me to reflect on this journey with this man.

We started our life together 50 years ago this past spring, and will be celebrating our 50th anniversary on August 1. Fifty years sounds long when you're young. It doesn't seem that way anymore.

We hope for many many more years together. We've had our ups and downs and have stuck together. He traveled a lot when he was a young professor while I stayed at home with the kids. He's still been to many places I'll never see. At other times I've traveled without him. But almost always we have been glued at the hip.

We raised 6 children together. They were spread over nearly 17 years, oldest to youngest, and their lives were different depending on whether they came in our late childhood (early 20s) or old age (nearly 40). Our style of parenting was probably best described as juggling. Juggling finances, time pressures, priorities (homework or the next chapter of Lord of the Rings?).

We looked forward with a passion to the next summer's vacation and were completely of one accord about where to go: Northern Canada, to the end of the road, a new section each year. Eastern Canada for the older kids, Western Canada for the younger ones. We tented in the beginning, then had a travel trailer.

We always had books, we always did hikes, we always ate very well despite cooking on a Coleman stove.

We are both chemists. For me it was something that allowed me to understand, for him it was his career: space chemistry. We shared a passion for space, something we both discovered at age about 8. We also both had and still have a passion for family, and for family histories.

It's been a sweet journey, and sometimes a stressful one. I knew he was my guy when I met him. We're really quite alike in so many ways, but also a good balance: he is calm, I am volatile; he is inward, I am a bit inward but less so; I am smart, he is remarkably and terribly terribly smart. I am wild, he is tame. Neither of us is yet really old (yay!). He's the prep chef, I'm the kitchen boss. He's the willing sampler, he has the better sense of smell, I'm better on the computer, we both love words, and numbers.

We have plans, lots of plans, books to write, places to see, thoughts to think, cuddles to cuddle. There will never be enough time.

So for now we'll just celebrate the 50 years' journey to this current stopover, and mention too Happy Father's Day, Juan! I'm so glad your the father of my kids!

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