Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Flying Kite Day

Fathers Day? There is no Fathers Day. Just ask the LGBB. It's called Happy Flying Kite Day. Didn't you know?

The LGBB was insistent that Daddy get a kite for Fathers Day. So insistent that I took her to the shops and let her choose one herself. Daddy received two presents from Lolly. The other was a laminated placemat with her hand prints, a cute poem about said hand prints and a photo of her making the hand prints, all proud-like and an unsure "see what I'm doing here? I have no real idea of the final outcome but I trust ya when you say he'll love it..." look on her face.

He did love it. So much so that he was reduced to tears. The last time he saw any hand prints of his daughter were when we received Ella's in a booklet the NICU nurses at the hospital made for us, amongst the shoe box of things that amounted to the evidence of her existence on Earth. We've not been able to really make the LGBB's hand prints after that. I wanted to do it. But I was superstitious about it at the time, as if I was making the hand prints of our second newborn "just in case" that was all we'd end up knowing her by.

On Saturday night before bed, the LGBB turned her hand to splatting Clag on a piece of black card and then sprinkling glitter all over it. A finer decorated Happy Flying Kite Day card there never was. I asked her what she wanted me to write inside, as "a message for Daddy", I told her.

"I love playing kites with you."

Simple. I liked her pre-emptive knowing, given that she hadn't yet experienced the joy that is, apparently, playing kites with Dad. I'd like to thank the movie, Mary Poppins, at this point for planting the idea in the LGBB's head in the first place - not that Steve resembles the grumbly Mr Banks at all, in any way.

The morning came and we snuggled into bed, the three of us and Ellanor weighing very heavily on her parents' minds and hearts. When Daddy opened his first present, oh, well, he could hardly believe his luck at receiving something he never knew he'd always wanted. A Dora The Friggen Explorer kite. Sigh. I did let her choose, after all.* He then opened his card that told him how much he loved using said kite. With the LGBB. In the card were also some family passes to various fun things around the state, including the penguins at Phillip Island and a trip up the Eureka sky tower in the city.

But Daddy's favourite present was obvious. I don't see Steve's tears too often, but it somehow also doesn't take much. They are always there, often fleeting, but always there just below the surface (somewhat stereotypically, I guess).

Ella wasn't mentioned yesterday by anyone. We are used to this now. On Mothers and Fathers Days each year, right from that first year in 2004, we learned the hard way that it was our job, just his and mine, to honour our rightful place in the world as mother and father, respectively. It was obvious that the acknowledgement was not going to come from our own mothers and/or fathers, who inadvertently or otherwise have always managed to skirt the "issue". Phoning them, therefore, on those two days each year has been one of the most bitter, jagged little pills to swallow. It was quite difficult in the first years (before we had Lolly) to call up and wish them a "happy" fathers day, for instance, when a) it wasn't terribly happy for us and b) the very reason we were calling was to appreciate and thank and honour them for being our fathers.... when I would have expected part of that was to accept that they were now fathers of parents - bereft parents - themselves. What an alien and confronting place for them to be in, I have no doubt and would never envy them their position, especially given the era they grew up in.

But I digress.

Yesterday was not about trespasses past. It was a happy flying kite day. Not that we did. D'oh. Unfortunately, we were all quite ill here. Happy but poorly, therefore. We crawled out at slow pace together to watch a movie on the big screen and, stupidly I suppose in hindsight, I even determined to brave it knowing that the LGBB (sans nappy for about a month now) had the runs.... We made it through the movie with just one toilet break, she was such a champion about it all and had no accidents.

Today is recovery day. And speaking of which, I must now tend to my sleeping beauty who appears to still be under the weather, as well as the covers.

I hope, in whatever form it took for you, that yesterday was an equally Happy Flying Kite Day for your fathers, your partners, your family and you.

* I haven't confessed until now, but the LGBB has had a very short-lived love affair with Dora. I say "short-lived" because when she realised that Dora chick doesn't answer her back when the LGBB tells her stuff, it's pretty rude of her. So Lolly doesn't hold her in nearly as high regard anymore, her and her Map and Backpack and... ugh just slays me, that show. Sorry, fans.

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