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The Silence, the Setting and the Sentimental Dad

So Tuesday will mark Kori and my 25thwedding anniversary. Over the years, my wife has commented that I am not romantic. My response, “What, I made a dinner reservation for the family at a nice restaurant, isn’t that enough?” I joke about it but it can be an issue in any relationship when one spouse chooses not to meet the needs of the other. Sorry, I digress and that is not what this week’s topic is about. It would take way more words than anyone would want to read and we like to keep things light.

Last week we found ourselves at the happiest place on earth, Disney World. We had traveled to Orlando for Number 4’s national dance competition and had scheduled some free time to celebrate Number 3’s birthday at the park of his choice and he wanted to go to “The Magic Kingdom.”

We really enjoyed ourselves amongst the crowds, crying babies and all the Quinceanera groups from Brazil and Argentina. I had never had seen so many 15 year old girls in one place before! Number 3 and Number 4 wanted to ride all the rides which I tagged along and felt like a teenager again. Of course, I drew the line at Pokemon hunting. Without our girls along that left Kori alone to watch her favorite parade. She said she didn’t mind and with the alternative being roller coasters and water rides, I believed her.

The day ended with thousands of us being loaded into a queue to board a ferry back to our cars. This was well after 10pm and we were all tired and maybe not that happy with each other. Possibly because I am not as romantic as my wife wishes I would be. Oops that topic came up again. Sorry.

The silence and the setting brought up some great memories of previous trips with all the kids and family. Seeing the princesses, getting autographs from their favorite characters, spending time with cousins, dressing up for Halloween, and working through all the meltdowns. These and many more memories came rushing back like they happened yesterday.

We returned home the next day and were visited by Number 1 who came home from Texas and will accompany us for the second half of our family vacation beginning tomorrow. The dynamic is very different when she isn’t around so I am happy to have her home. I know Kori is too as she isn’t the only woman in the house for a change and no dogs don’t count.

Just like Disney, having Number 1 home, brings up a lot of great memories for me. When she was first born, it was the three of us and when my wife was at work it was just her and I. I apologize to her all the time because I learned how to be a good dad by screwing up with her and learning how to do it right for the other 3.

I have said this in a previous blog how much I love having my adult kids home. I know it will never be an extended trip but I will take whatever time I get. Number 1 is now an adult and our relationship is changing but I love the change. At the same time, I have lots of quick flashbacks to the first words, the first time walking, the first time when she fell, hurt herself and wanted her dad, and when she rode a two wheeler for the first time. Just like my Disney memories, these came back to me so fast and in succession that I wanted to stop time so I could see each one clearly.

So here it is. I am a sentimental and proud of it. I get teary-eyed at movies that deal with the parent-child relationship, I cry when I see my children enjoying their life and being in their element. I frequently reminisce about our family’s past and it brings me great joy. Now when the kids come home again, it fills my heart with happiness. There are times when everyone is talking that I simply sit quietly and listen to all of them. I simply can’t imagine being anywhere else.

I know I still have to work on meeting my wife’s needs for romance but for now I feel good that I am at least a sentimental dad who loves remembering happy times. I am excited for the future and all the additional memories we will be making together.

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