Celebrating the most deserving dad of all

standard June 16, 2015 1 response

Please note: this is a sponsored post. But it contains all of my usual wit and wisdom, so, please, read on.

A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I was going to be ok with all the Father’s Day stuff that was starting to hit the airwaves and every other available advertising surface. I blinked at her, totally not getting what she was asking. Then she gently nudged me.

“You know, Father’s Day? Are you worried it’ll be, you know, painful because of your dad?”

And I had to laugh, because my dad loathed Father’s Day. With a passion. We were never allowed to even wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Which is good, in many ways, because for us, Father’s Day has always, and will always, be about M as a dad and it won’t have any negative connotations this year or ever.

And boy does M deserve to be celebrated.

He comes home, exhausted, after a long day of wrangling challenging clients and difficult cases, and he dives right in. He tidies, deals with kid demands, makes dinner, plays endless board games, teaches the kids to play the Ukulele and the piano. He sings to them and talks to them, and sometimes just cuddles. He’s quick to take up the slack when I need him to step in and never, ever complains when I duck out for a much needed Girl’s Night Out to catch my breath.

If ever a dad deserved to be celebrated it’s him. If ever a dad deserved to have a day all to himself, not haunted by specters of other dads, it’s him.

So I asked him what he wanted to do for Father’s Day. His reply?

“Whatever you want.”

And I asked what he wanted as gifts for Father’s Day? His reply?

“New socks.”

No, seriously. That’s what he always wants. New. Socks. The gift that keeps on giving.

Lucky him, I already got him new socks last week. This week we’re going for something a tad more fun.

Now, clearly I can’t tell you exactly what I’m getting him, because he reads this and that would totes ruin the surprise, but I can tell you some other things he’d love…things you can find on eBay if you’re still looking for great ideas for the dads in your own life.

Because eBay. Endless treasure trove of dad approved goodies.

So, without further ado, I bring you 5 things I know M would totally love to receive from eBay. Other than socks. Even though I could get those there too. But I’m not gunna. So there.

Celebrate Dad with eBay

 

Ukuleles

Ukulele on eBay

So, M’s a tad obsessed with Ukes. Which is great. But maybe I shouldn’t let him see just how many are available on eBay. Though I have to say, I’m rather tempted to expand his collection myself. Some of the options are truly unique and exceptional.

Art Supplies

Art supplies on eBay

M dabbles in art. He colors, he paints, he sketches. It works out nicely, because I have a bit of a thing when it comes to purchasing art supplies. As in, I like to buy them. Lots of them. eBay has pretty much everything you could ever want to buy when it comes to art supplies. It makes my little heart go pitter patter.

Recording Studio Stuff

Recording Studio on eBay

Ok, I admit, I know exactly nothing about recording studios, what they require, what’s good, what’s worthwhile, or anything. But M does. He also knows what he already has and what he might need or want. So, basically, this would be the ideal opportunity for an eBay gift card.

Meditation supplies

Meditation bowl on eBay

Apparently you can never have too many candles, guided meditations, or other meditation inspired things. If it helps you create a nice, safe, inspiring space, I say go for it. Which is probably why we have more candles in our bedroom than the average candle store. Not sure where to get started? Check out some of the collections put together by eBay users.

Gift Cards

Ebay Gift Cards

Nothing ever feels more lame than handing someone a gift card and saying “Have a Happy Whatever, Man.” And yet, when you’re dealing with someone like my husband, who finds it almost physically painful to spend money on himself, sometimes a gift card is truly the best gift in the world. It’s like giving him permission to go shop. Which he loves, especially if he feels it’s with “free money.”

At eBay? You can get pretty much any gift card you could possibly imagine. Seriously. Go look. Best part? It’s not too late to score the perfect gift card. You can shop for them all the way until Saturday.

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I barely scratched the surface of everything that can be found on eBay. It really is the ideal place to shop if you’re looking for something a little eclectic or something totally run of the mill. More than 70% of what’s sold on the site comes new-in-box and shipping tends to be fast.

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eBay Father’s Day Sweepstakes!

Want to win some handy shopping cash this Father’s Day? 

ebay logo

You can enter to win $1,000 for Dad this Father’s Day by tweeting at @eBay and including #eBayCelebratesDads and #Sweeps in the tweet. Share something a dad in your life would love this Father’s Day from their Father’s Day Gift Guide or just tweet why Dad is awesome!

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Please note: In case you hadn’t guessed yet, this was a sponsored post written on behalf of eBay. My passion for all things eBay is 100% genuine and all the thoughts contained here are all mine.

How is it already summer?

standard June 10, 2015 Leave a response

One of the things grief seems to have stolen from me, aside from my usual sense of humor and desire to hang out with tons of people whenever I can, is time. Or really the sense of time passing.

I woke up this morning to the excited chatter of kids about to be freed from the yoke of public education for a brief 9 weeks and I couldn’t really comprehend what I was hearing.

How is it possible that they are out for the summer? That they’re home for the foreseeable future? That I haven’t purchased their plane tickets yet for camp? That I have nothing planned for them to do until then?

How is it June?

Where did the last three months go?

Heck, where did the last 9 months go?

Didn’t school just start?

The school year often feels like it flies by in a blur, but this year? It’s like someone hit fast forward.

I lost most of November and December to post anesthesia fog,* the start of the year to frantic trips to Canada to see my dad, and the spring reeling from his death.

It’s a good thing the girls had a good year and that they had fantastic teachers to support them so that I could bob along in my fog of grief and work, but I’m bummed that I feel like I missed their 2nd and 4th grades.

I was here. I helped with homework. I read in the classroom. I had deep and not so deep conversations with them in the car. I hugged. I laughed. I packed lunches and checked test papers. But it really feels like I was going through the motions, waiting for my everything to click back into place and start feeling engaged again.

Guess it didn’t happen in time for the end of the year.

Here’s hoping it happens before the next year starts.

First and last day of school 2014-2015

First and last day of school 2014-2015

 

*Don’t bother searching, I didn’t blog about the surgery I had back then.  I might soon. Not sure. Just know it was elective and that I’m a-ok. 

Parenting: The balancing act

standard May 11, 2015 1 response

Balance. It’s that elusive thing we’re all after all the time.

Balance between productive time and down time. Between being a firm role mode and a fun parent. Between work and family. Between being a parent and spouse. Between all the people who need you and, well, you. Between taking care of the house and taking care of the people in it.

It’s the thing that makes parenting feel like a never ending tightrope walk. You’re focused on taking the next step, placing it carefully down, balancing everything at the ends of your hands… and hoping against hope that nothing will come shake your wire and make you drop everything.

Because when you drop everything it takes forever to pick it all back up and feel stable again.

At the beach this weekend I spotted a row of stacked rocks. It happened to be Mother’s Day so I had mothering on the brain, but the rock formations reminded me of the balancing act we all constantly do.

Rocks on the Beach

 

As we walked by the log on which all the little towers perched on, my sister offhandedly asked if I’d noticed all the sand under each one.

“The sand is what keeps them balanced.”

It reminded me that even though it often feels like we’re balancing up there, on our wire, all by ourselves, juggling all the things life throws at us, we’re not alone. We have lots of little grains of sand helping us balance. (And yes, I know my metaphors are all tangled up. Just go with it.)

We have friends who stop by for coffee and offer a supportive ear. We have family members who know us better than we know ourselves. We have spouses who share the burdens. We have teachers who share the kid worries with us. Some days, we even just have the person who smiles knowingly as they pass you at the grocery store. Or the friends in the computer and in our phones, who aren’t with us, but are still doing this thing alongside us, ready to offer a quick word of encouragement, commiseration, or even levity.

Parenting. The ultimate balance. And the ultimate test of our ability to notice the grains of sand that hold us up.

Grains of sand

 

Life is fragile… and absurd

standard May 4, 2015 1 response

On Saturday morning I woke to the news that Sheryl Sandberg’s husband Dave Goldberg had passed away unexpectedly while on vacation. Now, to most of the world, this is a sad news tidbit people learned about over their morning coffee and forgot long before the day had grown warm, but to our corner of the country, where he was well known and loved, the news threw everyone for a loop.

Successful, healthy men aren’t supposed to die at 47.

To me, the news was particularly poignant, as is all news about dead parents these days. It doesn’t take much to bring tears to my eyes or make me relapse into my grief funk.

I rallied as best as I could. Took the little and a friend to a skate boarding lesson and rallied as best as I could.

And then, while meandering around downtown, I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and discovered that she was battling bone cancer.

I felt panicky for the rest of the day. Short of breath. Shaky. Terrified. Life felt just too fragile to bear.

Most of the time, we live in happy denial of all the things that can tear our friends and family away from us. We don’t know about most of the illnesses that can claim or radically alter lives. We conveniently forget about how dangerous it is to even walk down the street or up the stairs.

And then, sometimes, you get hit in the face with one reminder or three. And BAM, the mere thought of how fragile life is, of how easy it is to lose someone, brings you to your knees and steals the breath from your lungs.

I’d love to say that this temporary epiphany made me more loving to my family, made me want to hug everyone close, but really, all it did was make me want to hide under the covers and lose myself in a book. Even when fictional characters die, they’re never really gone. Just flip a few pages back, and presto, they’re back.

I’m sure that in the not so distant future my denial will be securely back in place and I’ll be, once again, able to get on with my life without gasping for breath every time I glimpse what life would be like if it were missing more of my people.

In the meantime I feel about as fragile as life really is.

Life is Fragile