Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tales: Father's Day

helping Frankie eat
I was recently asked to find pictures of my son Jack with his dad for a special Father's Day gift. I scoured hundreds and hundreds of photo and could only find a few shots. It wasn't because of him not being involved, in fact, it was because he is so involved. I realized he wasn't in most of the pictures because he takes most of the pictures.

Frank's involvement started right from the start, during pregnancy. Now he cooks dinner every night, and that started when I was pregnant with Frankie. I was so tired and nauseous all the time that cooking was impossible.

Frank with Frankie and Bekah
It was also with Frankie's pregnancy that we took Bradley childbirth classes together. The Bradley Method is also known as Husband-Coached Childbirth.

Frankie was born 45 minutes after getting to the hospital and there really wasn't a lot of time for Frank to use the childbirth coaching skills he'd practiced. He did manage to film the birth with 2 different cameras, on a tripod and a handheld.

falling asleep
Frank comforting a fussy Frankie

Frankie turned out to be a very high need and sensitive baby. He went through a difficult period of colic, and I don't know how I would have gotten through it with out Frank.

finally sleep

When Frankie was scared to start kindergarten, Frank gave him a special key to hold to remind him of home. It helped him get through the rough beginning. Frankie's teacher commented on his ability to rhyme, something he always enjoyed doing with his dad. Frank also volunteered during library and on field trips.

carrying Frankie at Disney
And Frank was the one who had to say Frankie's long goodnight wishes in the exact right order before Frankie could fall asleep.

cuddling Bekah
Bekah was the first to be born at home. Not only was Frank able to document the birth on video, but I never felt like he wasn't there for me as well. After Bekah was born, Frank made all of my meals and brought them up to me in bed, sometimes with flowers.

mini golf with Jack
For the other 3 homebirths, Frank documented the births, set everything up for the midwives, cleaned up afterwards, and even played host by making food and coffee for everyone. And I still got my trays of food in bed for weeks so I could focus on our new babies.

hangin' with Jack at the pool
Frank took care of the older kids and always made sure I had a glass of water close by while I was nursing. He was always available to hold a newborn so I could shower or take a nap.

Singing Happy Birthday to Lillian

As the children have grown, Frank is always there. He has documented their growth in his "wall photos."

And his voice is always heard in the background of the video clips he records (especially when he's trying to teach them to say "dada" instead of "mama.").

foofing Bekah while teaching her to swim

He's helped the kids learn to swim and ride bikes. The kids help him with chores, like grocery shopping and taking out the trash. Together they love to play basketball.

the whole family

So, even though you don't see him in most of the family photos, you can feel him in there. As I look over years of photos, I see Frank in every single one.
holding Luke's hand

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