Ode to an Ogre

Father’s Day has come and gone and I failed to blog about it.  Still, I wanted to pay tribute to the three most important fathers in my world and also to the most present future father of my own children.  Mr. Cookie may not be a dad yet, but I know that when some day he is, he is going to have enormous shoes to fill.  He will, I have absolute faith, fill them exceptionally.

Nobody is perfect.  I sure know I’m not.  But for all his flaws, I think I made out pretty lucky in my match.  I don’t always give him enough credit.  So, today because I’m in a great mood and because he’s been exceptionally nice (even though I called him at work and sent him multiple emails when I know he’s really busy and doesn’t have the time to deal with my shenanigans), I’m writing to tell you a little bit about what makes my husband wonderful.  But to do that, I have to tell you a little bit about the other men in my life.

Grandpa–  My grandpa was a great man.  He came from a family of 19 kids.  He was a self-starter who was always seeking to improve himself.  I remember when I was little, I went with him once to a swim class.  He’d never learned how to swim as a kid but had always wanted to know.  So, in the autumn of his life he decided to learn.  That set a huge impression for me.  I always knew somewhere in the back of my head that that was special.  This was an “old dog” who was very interested in learning new tricks.  He always had the latest technology.  He was obsessive about staying current with the latest movies, computers, news.  Everything was a teachable moment.  He used to play piano for me and then tell me about how, when he was little, his mom didn’t have time to teach him how to play (shocking, with 18 kids!) but she would let him sit and watch her in the evenings.  This is how he learned.

Mr. Cookie shares that same quality.  Once he decides to learn about something, nothing is going to stop him from doing it.  It’s funny, but we’ve come full circle.  Mr. Cookie and I never took formal swimming lessons as children so when he asked if I wanted to learn a couple months ago, I was very excited.  We’re taking lessons and while it’s challenging, he is applying himself with much gusto.  Just like Grandpa.  He loves to keep active physically and mentally, something that I have no doubt will last right up until the end of a long, fulfilling life.

Pepere- Pip was not a man of many words.  He would sit in the corner and observe, occasionally making softly uttered, wry comments under the buzzing of women around him.  This quiet is clearly not what Mr. Cookie shares in common with him.  However, he was an observer of the world around him.  He was a lover of life and deep thinking.  I used to love going down to the park with him.  He always had a big bag of bird seed in the trunk of his old boat of a car and we would sit and feed the squirrels who all knew him and would come right up to us.  Once there was quiet and solitude, he would open up.  I could ask him anything and he would talk.  I learned a great deal about philosophy and introspection from him on these field trips.  He would listen to my views and then with a slow nod and a quick “yep” he would chime in, never straight up disagreeing but often showing me a new perspective.

Mr. Cookie is more aggressive, but the same sentiment is there. Countless times he has pushed me to look at the other sides of an issue, even if he agrees with what I’m saying.  He is always pushing himself and those around him to consider every angle before forming an opinion and I love this about him.  I know that when we have kids, he’ll do the same thing with them.  He’s not going to settle for children who just agree with everything we believe.  Our kids are going to be stronger, more independent thinkers because of this.

Daddy- Oh, my daddy.  Humor.  Adaptability.  Sociability.  They say you marry your father.  I don’t think that’s entirely true, but I think that Mr. Cookie shares a lot of my dad’s best qualities.  We used to joke that Dad could go into a store and by the time he left, the clerk would know his life story.  He is so congenial and outgoing.  He also loves to laugh and make others laugh.  I used to love when we had company over as a little girl because I knew there would be great conversation and I would hear good stories.  Of course, as you get older (and hear the same stories on repeat) you start to roll your eyes and mentally check out but the thing is, those stories are (usually) new to the  person hearing them.  I have no doubt there will be eye-rolling moments for our kids, and that’s okay.  They’ll get past it and back to the point where they adore their dad for the quirks.  Dad is also great at adapting to new situations.  He’s a chameleon, really.  I’m sure 20 years in the Air Force helped with this but I love to see how fluidly he moves through all the changes thrown his way.  I know that regardless, Dad is always going to end up okay because he’s so good at handling change.

Mr. Cookie shares all of these qualities.  He always rolls his eyes when I hatch a new plan to invite as many people over as I can.  It’s really not entirely for me that I do this.  More often than not, I wind up in the kitchen cooking when we have a lot of people over.  If we go to someone else’s house, I immediately find an excuse to help out in the kitchen to get away from awkward socializing.  But you better believe I’m in the kitchen listening to him tell his stories.  I might be rolling my eyes, but I’m also laughing at the same time.  He’s so much better at socializing than I am.  I’m awkward and say stupid things and look and feel the whole time like I’m an impostor when we are with people I don’t know very well.  Not Mr. Cookie. He shines.

I love all the daddies that have impacted my development.  Most of all, I love them because they set such strong examples for me of what I ought to look for in a husband.  I am incredibly blessed by the strong men I’ve shared my life with.  So, to all the dads and to the one very special future dad, an incredible amount of love and thanks for a belated Father’s Day and all future Father’s Days.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    sister cookie said,

    I am also remembering Pip. He had a hard life: WWII, the alcoholism, losing one of his children to an accident and then another to the hardships of schizophrenia. And yet through all of that he faithfully ran his soup kitchen to help feed the homeless and less fortunate. He loved children and always had infinite patience with them. He always told us wonderfully hilarious stories of his high jinx situations when he was younger, and he was one of the best people to lend his ear for any reason or problem that I ever had. His advice with humor and wisdom of someone who has seen a much different world has never left my heart or mind, and I miss him very much.

    I love you, Pip!!!


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