Yesterday, Ryan encouraged me to write a blog. He listened as I told him how many stages there are to me writing a blog; conceptualizing, creating a writing space, narrowing down my topic, beginning a draft, (often) deleting my first attempt, committing to a more narrow topic, changing my angle, committing to the piece I'm writing, even after I've decided it's awful and not at all what I want to convey, finishing it and finally sharing.
He listened to me talk about how I often choose laundry over writing a blog, then he encouraged me again. So today's blog is all for him.
My daughters are away at an Advanced Astronomy Camp at Kitt Peak, they're staying up late, looking through some of the largest telescopes in the US, one day they'll be going up to Mount Graham and looking through the largest telescope in the world. They're with other high school kids, sleeping in dorms designed for full-time astronomers. The astronomers they're with are incredibly passionate about when they do and the science they're learning is absolutely incredible. It's an amazing opportunity. We're so grateful that they were accepted
I do have to admit, however, that when we saw the dates of the camp, six months ago, our hearts sank a little. We knew what was coming. We knew my husband would be spending his first ever Father's Day away from his daughters.
A few weeks ago, my father-in-law had to make an emergency trip to Michigan to be with his mom, so Ryan is also not seeing his own dad today either. Don't worry, we'll celebrate once everyone comes home.
But I thought I'd celebrate him today by recording who he is as a dad today. Or at least what I can manage to write down in a few hours, while he's out golfing (New Father's Day tradition).
Four more years will be college.
We've had a lot of people tell us, "You'll be free." as if we've been in prison and we're coming up on parole. But for both Ryan and myself, it's a feeling of confusion. We feel fear and loss and excitement and worry.
We're trying to give our daughters the freedom to be individuals with the skills they'll need as adults, but it's hard because we're parents, and they're our children and that's what parents do.
It's just surprising that we're going through what others go through at such a young age. We'll be 36 when our kids graduate from high school. Many of our friends will be taking their kids to kindergarten or first grade when they're that age.
Our family spends a lot of time together in different ways.
We can be noisy. We can laugh and yell and blare music or the TV. We like to watch movies and eat popcorn and always, always, always, someone wants to play a videogame.
He's an incredible father who is constantly, intentionally growing as a father and a husband. Even now, after being together for 15 years and with our children about to go into high school, Ryan is thinking and talking about ways he can improve as a parent and a spouse.
It's amazing to be around someone who isn't afraid to apologize to their children. It's amazing to be around someone who takes the time explain things and to engage our children in important conversations, then five minutes later, make them laugh by quoting a cartoon they saw together on TV.
|She asked him a question about sports. He was so happy he pretended to cry.|
|Here's a photo of Ryan showing off his old school Nintendo skills to a group of 13 year olds. They were playing Mike Tyson's Punchout.|
|Proud Chess Dad and his Daughters right after they both qualified for the State Chess Championship.|
|Peace Fingers from our family to yours.|
The laundry that I've been putting off while writing this piece has been yelling louder and louder for me to get off my auth.
I could gush about Ryan Kelly all day, everyday and it still wouldn't do him justice. He's been an amazing partner and an amazing parent.
I'd just like to wish him a peaceful Father's Day.
I love you.