This photo was taken a couple of years ago. It was Father’s Day weekend. School had just let out. It was also the weekend that I was memorializing my father who had just passed away from lung cancer, just weeks before.
Yesterday, school let out again for my daughters. My oldest now finished with her elementary level grades and excited for the new school. They have a lot to look forward to over their Summer. And they are excited as well. But they are not the only ones.
Summer to all three of us means their annual visit to me for the majority of the Summer, not all of it, but a lot of it. They will get to spend a few weeks with their mother, and then again at the end of the Summer for a couple of more weeks before school begins. My daughters will spend the balance of the time with me in my home.
I am very excited. Together, the three of us have come up with things we would like to do, things that we would like to eat, and really, just spend some quality time together.
Parents in my situation, are quick to be labelled “Disney parents”, nicknamed that because it is felt that parents who only get such limited time with their children are assumed to pull out all the “fun” stops, so that the parent is purely only perceived as “the fun parent,” and sometimes, parents actually go to that extreme.
For me, the Summer break for me and my daughters is about showing that they not only have a home with their mother, but they also have a home with me. How I treat my daughters today, is no different than when their mother and I lived under the same roof. There are expectations of behavior. There are rules. And much to their dismay, as I have done every year since they started school, they each have a transition workbook to keep their school skills ready for their next grade. Of course, they are also expected to read.
I love to spend time with my daughters. And as their father, as they get older, I want them to respect me, so that when they begin to date, gasp, I want them to expect the same of anyone who has an interest in them. We are looking forward to movies, lots of ice cream, and living close to the beach, lots of fun. They will get to visit with friends they met during their past visits here. And they will get to communicate with their friends back home as often as they like. Again, besides spending time with my daughters, all I want is for them to know that they are actually “lucky” to have two homes.
I am counting down the days now. My daughters are not the only ones excited for Summer.