For the past two years I have been writing about Father’s Day for Wood. It has been the desire of his heart to be a father and it has been elusive. Since we lost our child in 2010, Father’s Day has been hard for him. When stories come on the news about deadbeat dads or fathers with children by multiple mothers with little interest in raising them, he gets upset, wondering why they have children and don’t really want them and we weren’t able to have any.
But FINALLY Wood has been able to experience Father’s Day as a father and he has enjoyed every minute. The phone call from his father early in the morning was like his induction into an exclusive fraternity and he’s been riding on that high all day. Nana and I have loved up on Dad all day. We cooked breakfast, went to church, and took him a place that he has really wanted to go for years – a Brazilian steakhouse. Right now he is chilling at his favorite bar watching the game, child and wife-free. All day has been full of love and surprises.
He deserves it. He has been a reluctant participant in the foster care process, unsure of whether he would be able to love a child that wasn’t his own. But since Nana has come into our lives, he has blossomed. He loves that little girl and you can’t tell anyone that they don’t belong to each other. I’m grateful to have been able to see his desires fulfilled and here’s to many more years of celebrating him as a dad.
When Bear and I bought this house, he started making lists of all the things that he would do. The problem was, I had never seen him fix anything. That’s not entirely true. He’s done a couple of smaller things and honestly, I wasn’t overly impressed. Why not? Let’s just say that Bear is an “intuitive” fixer. I’ve seen him take three hours to put together a television shelf that should have taken 30 minutes because rather than read, or even look at, the directions, he would rather “feel” his way through. The shelf was put together perfectly, but I’ve been giving him the side eye ever since. Needless to say, I was not that enthused about his homemade honey do list.
As we started to have more professionals come in and money flowing out, Bear continued to say that he could do many of the things that the professionals were doing. I started to wonder why I was so opposed to him trying. I always wanted a man who could fix things, who would take ownership of our house and step up to do all of the man shit. My need for control, for things to look a certain way, and frankly, my lack of trust in his “intuition” was keeping him from being what I asked God for.
I decided to step back and let him step up. Instead of first suggesting that we hire someone, I began to encourage him, to hype him up, to support him. And you know what, he is AWESOME. You see those pictures?
When the electrician couldn’t finish because the chandelier was faulty, Bear said he could do it. We bought the new chandelier and we have light!
We originally planned for someone to replace a white porcelain sink with a stainless steel sink. When the sink didn’t fit the hole right, we scheduled someone to cut the granite and fix the sink. While walking in Lowe’s, I encouraged him to try with a cement sink since the size and weight was similar to the porcelain. It fit perfectly, he fixed the plumbing, hooked it to the dishwasher and we have water!
Bear swore up and down that he could install our appliances. And guess what, he did.
Now Bear has a fully loaded honey do list that includes installing our cooktop and range hood, sanding and staining the stairs and replacing the ceiling fans. I’m all in as his assistant to hand him tools and cold beers as needed.
I’m so proud of Bear. It’s wonderful to watch him blossom and feel confident in his abilities. I learned a lesson too. When we (strong black sisters) have been doing things on our own so long, it may be easy for us to just call someone to handle it. But that is the wonderful part of being married. We have someone to share the burden. That means giving a losing a bit of control, but gaining a partner for life.
Bear was in a baaaad mood today. He really was having a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day. It was very unlike him and I was wondering what was bothering him. He made a little comment that he shouldn’t have to do anything because it’s Father’s Day. Of course, I didn’t make it easier when I didn’t respond appropriately. I’m never good at that. I always think about it after the words have come out.
Sometimes we get wrapped into our own issues, that we forget our men are suffering too. For him, this was another year that arrived without a child in his life that he could call his own. It bothers him…way more than it probably bothers me and I need to be more sensitive to that. Even though he doesn’t or can’t articulate it, ever day that goes by without a child is a failure to him. As his wife, and his best friend, I have to make sure that he knows what a success he is to me.
You know what’s sexy? Coming home from work and seeing the Hubster folding freshly washed clothes. And then seeing the Hubster bring clothes up to the bedroom and attempt to put the clothes in the right drawers. And then watching him completely giving up and telling me that if I can’t find something I should look in his closet because it might just be there.
Yeah…he could get it.
Because its not just about this moment. It’s about knowing that I have a true partner in all things, including washing and folding clothes. And that right there is real sexy.
The time that we have been planning for is coming soon. Bear and I will finally be in the same place at the same time for an extended period. We are both excited and nervous about it which has been characterized by intensely getting on each other’s last dang nerves. The reality is, we go through this right before we are about to see each other again, probably because the time apart has been so long we are really missing each other. We last saw each other in April. So it’s time.
This will be a big change for both of us. I’m extremely proud of Bear because not only did he allow me back into his life, he is also taking the chance of a lifetime by quitting his job and moving across the world to support me in my job. He won’t be working, at least not in the beginning, and this may have all sorts of impact on our relationship. For Bear, this expresses itself in different ways: unwarranted jealousy and higher than normal need for affirmation. He may also feel some kind of way with knowing that he is not making his own money. But I believe that can be fixed fairly easily with a bank account and the stipend that the company provides for spouses. Plus, he’s already had some interest in his skills for work here, and we have a great idea for a business for expats. He will also be busy finishing up his last class for his degree. There are also some trailing male spouses both at my company as well as some folks at other companies. I think in a couple of months he will be acclimated and will have enough to do
On the good part, I can’t wait to experience Nigeria with Bear. We live in a great comfortable house, in a nice estate with swimming pool, gym, etc. We have a stewardess who cleans and cooks, we will have a driver. There is a great nightlife here so I’m looking forward to going out after work with him to get a drink or listen to music. We can travel to so many places from here, particularly on the many Nigerian holidays. Plus, I’m just happy that we will be together starting a life together. And it goes without saying that we are looking forward to trying again for another baby.
Last night I had a nightmare. In the dream, I was supposed to be going to a conference and I was at home, hurrying around and throwing things into a suitcase. My mother drove me to the airport and as we drove up I realized that I didn’t put any business attire into the suitcase, only casual attire. Apparently, I thought I was going to party. So I asked my mom if we could stop at the store – for some reason I think it was K-mart, a store that I remember from my youth as we did most of our school shopping there, true working class. Anyway, she said she didn’t have any money and couldn’t help me. So I said, fine, I’ll buy some things in the airport.
I made it to the gate where the rest of my classmates were. I didn’t see any faces but it seemed to me like my traveling buddies from business school. Anyway, I left my luggage with them, and somehow started getting asked to do different things, run errands, fix problems, very much like a typical day at work. It was very exhausting and overwhelming and I just felt like I was being pulled in too many directions. When I finally got done, I went back to my luggage. My traveling partners were gone. My cell phone was sitting on top of my luggage and I saw that I had four missed calls. I tried to return the call but the calls wouldn’t go through because the phones had been switched off. I had been left.
I woke up with such a profound feeling of helplessness and loneliness. I was stressed from all the activities in the dream and just sad at having been left. It was about 4:30 AM so I called Bear. He was clearly sleep but woke up enough to listen to me. And when I finished, he said through his grogginess, ” Baby, I would come get you from the airport. You don’t have to be there by yourself.”
It gave me such a feeling of peace because I knew he would. I knew that if I got left at the airport, my baby would come and get me. And I just loved him because he knew the right thing to say, even though I woke him up from a dead sleep.
It’s the small things…
As an added note – I figured the running around and stress was my subconscious letting me know that I needed a mental health day. So I took one. Yay for me!
I am the worst….really. I find that I always return to this small piece of me on the internet but the times are far and few in between. I’m just lazy. Now I have so much to catch you up on….
I broke up with BK – that happened in July of 2009
I got back with Bear – can you believe it? We took a cross-country trip at the end of July to drive my car to my sister before I left for Nigeria and decided that we wanted to try again. We stopped in Vegas for a small getaway and to see his brother and just had a good time again – him and I on the road.
Bear and I are engaged! – He asked me on New Year’s Day at the stroke of midnight. We were in my hometown watching television and I asked him to hurry up and get up glasses of champagne. He started fumbling around in the bedroom – luckily I was too high to pay much attention to him. We are both holding glasses of champagne and counting down, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!! Happy New Year! I scream out and turn to him for a kiss. He is down on one knee holding this beautiful garnet and diamond ring. I was so surprised I didn’t even say yes. He starts to get up off the floor and I finally tell him yes. The wedding is in September.
Bear is moving to Nigeria! Do you see the pattern here? Forward movement – yes!
Bear and I are having a baby! Just kidding! No seriously, not yet. But we are ready to start a family as soon as possible
What a difference a year makes. A year ago at this time, I was so excited about the newness of a relationship with BK. I just knew that my life was moving forward in a positive direction. And it has, but in a completely different way. My relationship with BK, along with some interactions with Alonzo, helped to finish refining my ideas on what I wanted and needed in a husband. The funny thing is, Bear had those things all along.
I appreciate our time apart because it gave me time to travel, to date, to discover more of myself and what I wanted out of life – how to be happy on my own. That completeness that one needs in order to truly settle down. And I’m grateful he had the ability to forgive and the generosity of spirit to let me back into his life.
That’s the update. I guess I can check in a little more often. We shall see…