Sunday, June 15, 2008

To All You Dads....

Happy Father's Day!

To my Beloved, an incredibly patient, kind, loving, thoughtful, and connected daddy...charmer of babies and all other small mammals, fetcher of treats, killer of spiders, soother of fussies, helper with math, bane of fishes, midnight ironer of a dozen little girl dresses before leaving for a deployment at dawn...my safe harbor and the love of my life.
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The Norman Rockwell painting above is entitled "Freedom from Fear" and is one of a series of four done during WWII to set forth our shared purpose in fighting - freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech - as addressed in a speech by FDR to Congress in 1941. Rockwell brought these ideals to life through images of American life as only he could produce. My grandfather (1912-1997) was an artist trained at the Chicago Art Institute, and owned one original Rockwell, (which went to his very nice and kind third wife, sadly, when he died) purchased in person from the man himself. It was a family love. Before and after my parents divorced, my dad always had tons of Rockwell prints at his office and all over the house, including this one and its brothers, as well as books of his works. All were chucked by my stepmother, who hated them, at some point during THAT divorce. Had I known, I'd've been to the house at the drop of a hat.
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I used to pore through the books on weekend visits, wishing I could live in the world and in the families Rockwell depicted. This one was bittersweet to me, because when I looked at it, I often wished my parents were still together to tuck me in at night. I have very few happy memories of them having done so. I suppose I longed for that feeling of security and, yes, safety from scary noises, boogeymen and all those sorts of childhood fears that having a Daddy down the hall provided. It wasn't until much, much later that actually I read the caption on the print and understood that it was much, much more than a slice-of-life bedtime scene.
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You can read more about "The Four Freedoms" here.
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And finally, I must say Happy Father's Day to my Dad. Hope you are well, wish you would be, and I hope you are safe.

5 comments:

Ma Beck said...

KILLER OF SPIDERS?!!

Didn't you people ever read "Be Nice to Spiders" or "Charlotte's Web"?!

Spiders are our friends. They kill other more dangerous bugs and they keep them away.
Half-man, half-spiders keep entire cities safe!

Spiders are cool!

Kit Brookside said...

Not all spiders are executed, Ma, never fear. Daddy longlegs are always set free. However, when you've lived in the desert amidst black widows, and have seen the damage first hand of a brown recluse bite on a sister's leg in the ICU, well, some arachno-profiling is in order. Anything that charges forward or has suspicious markings of any sort is fair game.

DigiHairshirt said...

Kit,

Happy Father's Day to the Beloved! I have my own tribute to Mark, as well as other men who have earned the title of "Dad."

Dads are special to daughters!

gemoftheocean said...

Great post. And I'd consider your "spider killer" a hero too. [That's one thing, as a single woman I hate having to do myself!]

I also LOVE Rockwell.

Kasia said...

My neighborhood is spider-riffic.

My attitude: if they stay out of my actual condo unit, we have no beef. If they come in, then they'd better stay out of sight. (Up at the juncture between the ceiling and the wall is also acceptable, provided it's not in the bedroom and they don't do that creepy lowering-down thing at me...)

Otherwise, the vacuum is coming out, and they're going DOWN.

Happy Father's Day to your beloved!