Lack of internet access yesterday while traveling prevented me from posting this item. Late but none the less sincere...
Many modern men are very involved in the lives of their children. There was a time though, in the not too distant past that fathers weren't very involved in the daily lives of their children. Mothers stayed home, fathers worked and supported the family. Many men couldn't cook and didn't clean or do any child care.
Because of my mother's health issues, Dad could do as much around the house as Mom, but he didn't do it all the time. When he retired he did more around the house regularly but he didn't get to do it for very long before he got cancer.
Meanwhile Rick's father worked shift work at the paper mill in Corner Brook while Sylvia took care of the home. After he retired, Melvin liked to cook some of the meals and made delicious soup which they had every day for lunch. He also made bread because Sylvia couldn't knead the bread like Melvin could. His bread was delicious.
In our family, Rick always did as much around the house and could cook as well as or better than I can. He was the one on the homefront with Claire after school as well because I was always later getting home than he was. Rick and Claire were/are very close.
Ben is a modern father who is the primary care provider for his girls when Claire is doing shift work on weekends, early mornings and evenings. He is a great father and a good cook. A totally modern man!
My brother is a great father, and does well with cooking and housework too. He saw what Dad did and he does the same or more.
It is with thankfulness for all of the men in our lives now and those who have passed, that I write about grandfathers today! Happy Father's Day!
My father, Samuel Pretty, didn't live long enough for Claire to have many memories of him. The year before he got sick we had a picture with Dad and Claire on my parents' patio. That plus the picture of Dad and Mom, Claire and the dog, Morgan, are part of the family album. Claire doesn't remember too much other than those pictures.
However, Melvin Smith lived to be eighty-three so Claire has many memories of her grandfather Smith, memories of a wonderful man, funny, loving, energetic, kind. He always had time for Claire any time they were together and regaled his friends with 'Claire stories' until the next time he saw her.
As a daughter-in-law, I knew how lucky Claire was to have such a grandfather. I had two wonderful grandfathers, men who spent time with me and enjoyed my company. From breakfast with Grandda O'Brien when he got in from fishing, to steak and brewis made by Pop Pretty, I enjoyed every minute around these two great men. Claire had the same with Melvin.
One morning when we visited Corner Brook, by the time I got to the kitchen, Claire was already having breakfast with her Poppy. Usually they made pancakes, mainly involving eggs, with Claire stood on a chair helping Melvin. This morning, Claire was eating Junior Mints and Coke for breakfast! Melvin expected that I would be upset with this choice of morning fare. However, I didn't say anything negative. This was an exceptional thing, that became part of family history. Poppy can serve Junior Mints and Coke for breakfast once in your lifetime without being scolded.
How do we benefit from having such grandfathers in our lives? Dad's work and have home/family responsibilities while grandfathers, depending on their ages and circumstances, have more time when the children are around them. The requirements of life, for many grandparents today, can be put on hold when their little darlings are nearby. Their time then is time for the grandchild/ren. This is what Claire had with Melvin. Someone who doted on her and thought the sun shone out of her. How lucky is any child who has such a man in her life?
Our two grandchildren are lucky to have both of their grandfathers. While they don't see Ben's Dad quite as often as they see Rick, their time with him is quality time. Sylvie loves time with Rick especially when he shows her how things work and how to do things that her little hands can handle. Caitlin, just one, is too young for learning these things from Poppy yet, but it won't be too much longer. However reading stories and having tea are great fun for the three of them.
Young children can learn a great deal from being around another positive male influence in their lives. If your child is lucky enough to have such a grandfather, you are all very blessed indeed.