Tuesday, June 18, 2013 • 3:49 AM Comments ()

The Delicacy and Strength of Children--and Sometimes Their Parents

posted by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Father’s Day isn’t a big deal at my house and was especially not a big deal this year (the usual breakfast in bed didn’t happen—another time, though). But I did think about how lucky I am to have a father to be the mom with who is so engaged and invested and competent and fun. He is the soccer coach and the ski chaperone. The kids are lucky and so is he.

Plus, he’s a night owl and it turns out this comes in handy when the kids are newborns and again when they’re teenagers.

Fathers aren’t always easy; they aren’t always able to be parents in the sense of putting the kid first (or close enough). Two of my to-share essays this week are about fathers who don’t—or didn’t—measure up in the least. I was glad to be reminded that even a failure of a father isn’t a deal breaker on the chance for a happy life for the child stuck with that legacy and those disappointments. Or maybe I was appreciative to be reminded that a thing about humans is this: we are fragile and resilient. It’s such a stunning paradox. The thing that holds those truths together seems to me to be like silk from a spider: shimmery and delicate and sturdy all at once.

My dad plays Scrabble; my friends Michael and Richard on the Dads' day.

My third to-share comes from the new blog Brain Child Magazine launched; this beautifully textured essay is about the good-bye process a mother experiences as her daughter launches to college.

In short—parenthood is really a thing.

Tuesday I tend to write down on the blog (if I’m on the blog) three things I am grateful for, which is something I do more than once a week. But here is this moment: grateful for that soccer playing and up too late-ing dad and dear partner in all; grateful for the strawberries I jammed into sticky sweetness; and grateful for the wonderful and amazing teachers my children—all of them—have learned from and lived near and loved. We never thank them nearly enough.

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