In the bottom drawer of my bureau there lies a couple of sweaters.
Underneath those sweaters- the drawer is filled with an abundance of hand made gifts given to me from my children over the years. I finally decided to show my treasures to them the other day. My kids had no idea I kept it all.
A few of these items had no names or dates on them. My kids ended up arguing over who gave me what. But even some of the ones that had their names on- they didn’t always remember making for me. The biggest surprise for me after showing them my collection, was the joy it brought to their faces. They lit up as if they were in preschool again, excited to be handing me a gift made with love by their tiny hands.
To me, these gifts are mementos of love. They are a story of how my children look up to me. Years later, saving these odds and ends shows my children that I cherish the time and effort they put into creating pieces of art. Every Father’s Day, every birthday, every life changing event- these small tokens given to me mean so much.
I don’t think my children know how much my heart cries as I watch them grow. They aren’t always going to remain innocent kids. They are growing up. Being able to look back and reminisce with a duct tape wallet or handmade pottery is invaluable to me.
Maybe in another ten to fifteen years, I shall open the drawer again and share my keepsakes with them once more. And as I do- I’ll see in their faces the youngsters they once were; looking back up at me as the father I once was.
I have been told on numerous occasions that I need to hand in my “Man Card”. I think it’s about time I did something about this.
My Man Card
So here it is my “Man Card”. I never knew I had received it. There was no ceremony or cigar smoking in celebration of becoming a man.
Was it when I was about 13 and discovered that I became aroused at the female form?
Fond memories of Electric Blue.
Was it when I turned 19 and went out to the bar and drank everything in sight? Ending my evening covered in my own vomit? Not likely- I was drinking “Electric Blue Long Island Iced Teas” with umbrellas and pineapples.
Was it when I got married at age 25 to my best friend and start a journey alongside her? Probably not since most people think that my wife has my balls in her purse now.
I’m a real man.
Perhaps it was the following year when I became a father for the first time. I doubt it though because I helped design and paint the nursery and constantly changed diapers.
Maybe it was when I turned 33 and became a railroader. Does this mean the women who work for the railroad are manly? But again, I received no fanfare.
Rocking the pink hair.
Somehow my “Man Card” appeared in my wallet. All my male friends have requested it back. Please take it. It hasn’t done me any good. Being a sexist bigot isn’t really my thing anyways.
I prefer to be a caring soul who enjoys arts and crafts with my kids. Or a glass of wine on the deck watching the birds and squirrels play in my yard. Sometimes lending an ear to a friend who needs it instead of telling them to suck it up is more my style.
So please take my “Man Card” and stop asking for it.