"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Celebrating The Cow Man in our Lives

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , ,


I am well armed...glass of wine, a few nuts, fudge, fire raging, baking in the pantry thanks to a beautiful friend, kids occupied and Rend Collective playing on my MP3.  Armed and ready to write, not fight.  I have been working this week and each evening have had to crash, do the family stuff (homework, cooking, laundry, dishes), crash again and then prepare for the next day.  One more day to go but it's all been organised by the teacher (note to self:  brush up on algorithms) and I simply cannot put off any longer the things I love.  Music and words.  The stuff of life.  Beautiful things.

This comes either a few days too late for Father's Day, or a few months too early.  New Zealand celebrates this day in September whereas my North American friends and family celebrated it last weekend.  But I enjoyed reading their posts on facebook, paying tribute to the dads and husbands in their lives.  I know a lot of people scoff at this day and others like it as strictly an exercise in commercialism, designed to get us to part with our money.  Yes, you could look at it this way.

Or, you could look at it as an opportunity.

An opportunity to celebrate the superhero in our lives and in our kids' lives.   

In this post-feminist era where men have forgotten how to be men a lot of the time (yes I know I'm inviting controversy in that statement) and oftentimes fathers are non-existent, I am thankful for people like Celia Lashlie who embarked on what she called "The Good Man Project," and Ian Grant who has written many books and speaks nationally about parenting, especially to fathers.  

But I think the essence of being a good man and a good father can be summed up by the father's day card given to my cousin's husband by his young son recently.  This boy's words say exactly what every man needs to hear (and I don't think it cost very much money):

When I saw this card posted by my cousin on facebook I cheered!  Yes!  There's a dad who knows exactly what it is to be a dad.   He's Cow Man!  He is that little boy's superhero, keeping him safe, sticking up for him, teaching him how to defend himself.  The rest of the time, he's wrestling on the floor, burping over cokes and lemonade while scoffing popcorn and watching silly movies, shouting at their sports teams on tv, shooting hoops together, inventing games and building fantastic obstacle courses.

Ok, I don't really know if my cousin's husband does all of these things, but I'm sure he and his son have their own versions of fun.  These things are a regular occurrence in our house.  And Paul is definitely Cow Man, a superhero for all of us.  Not just for his own kids; he's a superhero to an entire Cross Country team at his school and to many other boys there too.  Most of these boys probably have a really good dad, but some don't.  Some don't have a dad at all.  Paul does not underestimate the role he plays in their lives.  I am sure all male teachers and coaches are aware of their responsibility and role as father-figures. 

Our Cow Man was away last weekend, during the North American Father's Day.  Thankfully, we had other superheros fill in the gap.  Sam's basketball coach took him and some of his teamates to a Mountain Airs Game on Saturday night.  He was away from home for a good couple of hours.  I had no issue in letting him go, knowing he was in good superhero care (yes, it's true, his coach is also the local policeman but that's besides the point).  And two of my girls spent the day at a friend's house, where her dad took them all on adventures in the bush and to McDonald's.  I am extremely grateful for these Cow Men in our lives.  I celebrate them.

Meanwhile, Paul was in Christchurch with his team of 36 runners at the National Cross Country Championships.  He was the fun coach who organised bus tours, dinners, speeches, tickets to see the AllBlacks and an adventure at Adrenalin Forest (I mean, come on...how much fun was that?!?).  But he was also Cow Man.  He was Cow Man to his youngest runners who were homesick and nervous and scared before the race of their lives.  He was Cow Man to his distraught senior runner who couldn't finish his race.  He was Cow Man to the year 9 boy who was confronted by a stranger at the rugby game, by shielding the boy and defending him, making it very clear, "this is my kid; mess with him and you mess with me."  

Let's celebrate the Cow Man in our lives.  Let's honour him for being there, for having fun with us.  Let's thank him for keeping us safe.  

Let's empower him to continue to be the superhero he was always meant to be.


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