The Dads Have It
Happy Father’s Day to all you doted on dads out there! As I looked over my Facebook news feed this afternoon, I saw post after post singing the praises of “Dad.” I know most of these dads and I know very well that they are doted on. There were some pretty deep things said in these posts and I believe every person posting was writing from the heart. These dads are all very special. But are they really the "best" like so many of their children said?
At this point, of course, I started thinking about my dad. I'll share my reflections at the end of this post for those who are curious. But can there really be so many "best" dads? We used to compare our dads among ourselves in school. Looking back now, I realize, that each of our dads were bigger than life to us. They were all superheros. Some grow up and realize it was the grace of their childish thinking that enabled them to see dad through rose-colored glasses. However, many grow up and realize that dad is even more amazing to them now than he was when they were a kid. Many of my Facebook friends fall into the latter category.
MOHI School graduations will be happening on Thursday and Friday. It's so much fun to watch the excitement build among the students and staff.
It's been exam time at our schools. The students in Amy's English Club insisted on having exams, too.
Preparing for Summer
In the US we usually look forward to school vacations so we can spend time doing things as a family and visiting new and exciting places. Here in Haiti, however, there's not much to keep kids busy. Families don't usually have the means to travel with their kids. Parents are working hard to make ends meet and kids are often left on their own. This is one of the reasons we like to have the school doors open as often as possible.
This summer we have a couple of new, ongoing activities planned for many of our students.
Several groups (according to age) will have scheduled library time two times a week throughout the summer. This will include story times, working with puzzles, drawing, coloring, and research projects.
Three of our XO computer whizzes will each be leading a small group computer club.
Angie has been busy organizing in the clinic. This week that meant moving our pharmacy to the dental room so we can repaint the pharmacy room.
Since her arrival, Angie has had several American Expats VERY happy with her decision to come serve full-time at MOHI. They benefited from her knowledge during a few different situations.
This week, in addition to seeing many patients in the clinic, we also did a mobile clinic at the MOHI school in St. Etienne.
We all know that when mom's happy, everybody's happy. So, I thought it was significant to let you all know that I'm even happier than usual. Why? Because my son AJay arrived back in Haiti yesterday. I have missed both of my children terribly, as they both were back in the States for school this year. This was AJay's first year being away from us, living long-term in Massachusetts (with the wonderful Minor family - THANK YOU!!!), attending a public high school, getting his driver's license, buying his first car, and making the honor role. I could probably double that list of "firsts" if I thought about it a little longer. However, the point is, this has been a huge transition for him AND a huge transition for me. So, yes, I am a very happy mom today.
I'm also happy to see Gama's family back in Haiti. We enjoyed a visit from Angela, Nathan and Nyah earlier in the week. And it blesses me that Nathan keeps asking to come to back. I've missed that little guy!
I've enjoyed having my friend Angie Shepherd living here, too. We started meeting up to go walking each weekday morning. It's so hot here that we chose to meet at 5AM when the sun is just coming up. Angie was battling a cold and we stopped for a bit. When she felt better I was not feeling the motivation to start sweating as soon as I wake up, since I spend the whole day that way, too. So (a happy thought), we decided we'd try going for a romp in the ocean to start our days this week. This makes me happy, too!!!
A Few more highlights
We enjoyed another evening with our new friends from Tennessee.
Pastor Mark from Burmingham, Alabama brought forth a message at our English service this evening.
Not everyone drives like this... Not everyone rides like this either...
Pastor Lex, Lily, and Faith at MOHI's missionary compound
Remembering My Dad, Bernie Rosen
My dad was very special to me, too. I was adopted into my family at the age of 4. I still have vivid memories from the foster home I stayed in, from the adoption agency’s play room where I first met my new parents, and from the day of my arrival at my new home. But some of the very best memories from my childhood were moments with my dad.
My parents were in the real estate business. As I remember the story goes, they ran a special promising to sell your property within a certain amount of time. And if it didn’t sell? They would buy it themselves. Ladd’s Garden Center didn’t sell, so they acquired it prior to my adoption – and they likely never ran THAT special again.
I spent many, if not most, of my weekends at Shetucket Park Gardens with my dad. While planting tomato seeds, transplanting seedlings, and trying to root cuttings was not very exciting to me, spending time with dad most certainly was.
My dad ate breakfast out every single morning. I remember him leaving the house during the blizzard of ’78, amidst my mother’s loud and animated disapproval, to go downtown for his coffee. Well, the “greasy spoons” he frequented were all closed, as was Friendly’s. He came back home, looking a bit defeated and my mother dug out the percolator that normally only came out for company.
Going out for breakfast with my dad was probably my favorite activity in the world. He made me feel like a princess and obviously loved showing off his little girl to all the staff and regulars at his breakfast spots. He would let me order whatever I liked, which occasionally included donuts and eclairs! He taught me to enjoy eggs soft boiled, poached, sunny side up, and over easy. And we loved our home fries!
I remember dad bringing me to Thom McAn’s for my first pair of "fancy" boots. You know, those full-length, shiny white ones that hot models wore. (Yeah we’re talking almost half a century ago now!) I was “all that” in first grade. And I wore them dancing with my dad when we vacationed in Miami at the Harbour Island Spa. I remember my mom voicing her disapproval to having to sit out too many songs.
Dad used to brag about my musical abilities to all my aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings…and customers.
He taught me to use the (very old) cash register and taught me how to count back change. Then he entrusted me to take care of customers and run the Garden Center all by myself. He may have had some ulterior motives – like playing cards with the guys at the Elks Club in the middle of the day – but that didn’t bother me one bit. He made me feel like a grown up.
He played match-maker, encouraging me to go to my very first prom with an older (all of one year!) boy who had his driver’s license AND his own car. I was 15 years old and he let me go out with the guy. (Something that didn’t happen for my own daughter.)
Hats off to all you dads who manage earning an income to take care of your family and still make those special moments of one-on-one time with your wife and your children. They may not remember everything you told them, but they will never forget the way you made them feel so special.