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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update on Ring

I realize that I haven't been sharing many stories about Ring and his twins Pocket and Posies. I know some of my long-time imaginary friends wonder how they are doing. And I have to say that they are doing as well as can be expected. Young children are amazingly resilient. And Ring is a man of strong faith. May and June are tough months to get through, what with Mother's Day, Father's Day, Memorial Day, Rosie's birthday and their wedding anniversary all within seven weeks of each other.

It makes for lots of firsts without. Without a wife. Without a mother. Without a friend.

They are doing fairly well, all things considered. I'm one who keeps my own grief very private, so I'm even less likely to share about another person's grief, but I do notice a change in Ring. He isn't to a point where he wants a different future, but he is at a point where he can imagine a different future. And I think that says it all.

Also, it's actually been quite heart-warming to watch Ring morph into both a father AND a mother over the past eight months. I didn't tell y'all when it happened, but during our trip out west to attend my father-in-law's funeral, Posies, his six-year-old fashionista, opted for a style change. In a big way.

It was such a tremendous change, in fact, that it became the talk of the neighborhood.

I didn't know the details about said style change because the neighborhood gossip subsided before our arrival home. Which means that when I saw Posies - sporting her SEVERE mullet - I agonized about what to do. I knew Ring's sister, being the person she is, would avoid like the plague even a gentle conversation with him about it. And that our neighbors probably didn't feel they COULD say anything to him about it. And then I wondered if I should say something.

Because who else would be obnoxious enough bold enough to tell a grieving widower that the hairstyle he selected for his six-year-old daughter was just... well... terrible?

When I finally mentioned Posie's hairstyle to Ring's sister, one morning at preschool drop-off, she said, "Oh, I know... isn't it just AWFUL?!?!!! I don't think Ring knows how bad it looks, but at least it will grow out eventually." Which made me agonize even more about the whole thing. After a couple of weeks of stress, I finally... finally... approached Ring about the topic of appropriate girl hairstyles.

And that's when he learned that I thought he'd purposefully chosen A Mullet For Posies. Because of what his sister said. Because no one told me differently. And that's when I learned that Posies chose the style all on her own. In their home bathroom. Wielding a pair of scissors. And that when Ring's sister told me she "didn't think Ring knew how bad it looked," she was referring to the Salon Repair Mullet, which actually looked much, MUCH better than the hack job Posies accomplished.


I didn't give Ring enough credit seven months ago. I don't think HE gave himself enough credit either. But this summer I see a whole new confidence in him. He's navigating the world of kindergarten girl bickering with the coping skills of an experienced teacher. He's loving on his children in ways that you don't often see from fathers. He's encouraging his son Pocket to express his feelings, however they might come out. And he's able to tackle Tough Parenting Conversations with an ease I've not seen before.

Conversations similar to this one...

POSIES: Daddy, Daddy! I'm so excited. Today (a boy at school) told me I was his extra girlfriend!!!!

RING: What? Boyfriend?!?!!! Wait a minute! What do you mean, extra girlfriend?

POSIES: Well, he already has one girlfriend. So I'm his extra girlfriend.

RING: (deep breath) Okay, first of all, you are too young to be anyone's girlfriend. And second, when you ARE old enough, you won't be ANYONE'S extra girlfriend. You will be the ONLY girlfriend. Got that?



bbmomof2boys said...

Isn't it amazing how with God's help we can rise out of our deepest grief to continue on? And then as we continue on and grieve some more that the grieving becomes less and the laughter starts to come back?

We will always grieve for those who have made it to heaven before us, but I'm so sure you know that one day we WILL be reunited with them, up in heaven, and that day will be glorious!!

Many hugs,


Wade's World said...

It sounds like he's doing a really good job of raising the kids!!

Laura L. said...

Glad to hear about how Ring is doing. Thank you for this little window into their world. I think we all wonder what it could be like for someone who loses a spouse and raises young children. Glad to hear that they are doing okay.
The mullet story is cute.

Andrea said...

Gotta love when kids cut their own hair! So glad that you are there for them!

Joan said...

Thank you !

Its good to see there is another strong man out there. My dad was and is one and it looks like Ring has it under control too!

I was 8 when my Mom passed away and today we are moving Dad to a new nursing home so there are alot of years between 8 and now. But, My Dad would have said the same thing about not being someones Second Girlfriend.

Thanks for posting that. :-)

Aunt LoLo said...

I love that last little conversation...and I'm so happy they are all healing. I'm sure having such a wonderful group of friends has helped with that!!

Janet said...

Good man! That's JUST what he should tell her!!!!! :-)

He sounds like he is doing well, all things considered. God is good!

Sharie said...

Here I am feeling sorry for myself because I only got 33 years with my Dad. I know how hard all of those anniversaries and birtdays and holidays are for me...I can ONLY imagine how hard they are for little ones. HUGS!

Alyson and Ford said...

You write beautifully, with such heart. I feel for the family all over again.

Alyzabeth's Mommy for Nine Months

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I am glad to hear they are all doing so well. I have often thought of them......couldn't imagine what this year has been like for them...as you said, so many firsts!!

Thanks for giving us the update....the mullet story was so cute!!


Juliette said...

He sounds like an amazing Daddy indeed.

Georgia Peach said...

I am so very glad to hear that Ring and the children are well and thriving. That is such good news.

It reminds me of a wonderful quote from the book/movie 'Hope Floats'.

"...beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will..." (Birdie Pruitt, Hope Floats)

All the best to Ring and his children.


Colleen said...

Love to hear stories of strong men. Ring sounds like such an awesome father. I love his reply to his daughter about being an extra girlfriend....: )

Dawn said...

Thank you for sharing this... I have actually wondered but didn't want to ask. Sounds like everyone is doing as well as could be hoped for right now - including you.

Blessings, friend!