My son peered out the window at a light fading down the driveway. “Daddee!” he demanded and stamped his pajama sleepered feet, frustrated that he couldn’t be out there plowing with his father.
My daughter had already gone to bed and I teetered on a chair, stuffing foam backer rod into cracks on the logs of our cabin. Even though Thomas devoted most of his weekends and vacations to chinking our log cabin home, we were getting worried about getting our energy improvements done in time for the rebate.
“Mommee, what’s that?” Ethan gazed up at me.
“I’m trying to surprise Daddy,” I said. “I want to fix the logs before Daddy is done outside.” He had been down in the garage for a long time trying to get our darn snow blower to work and I knew he was going to be in a bad mood. Our snow blower always broke on heavy snow days. Then, I would get the car stuck at the bottom of the driveway and poor Thomas would be in the cold shoveling or slamming the car through a several feet high snow berm.
One winter, a friend lent us their ATV equipped with a snowplow. It sounded fun and the kids did enjoy riding on it, but it wasn’t easy to load it off and on a truck and figure out how to plow the driveway in the darkness and still make it to an 8am work meeting.
I never really thought about it, but living in Alaska does present a lot of challenges for my man, especially if he’s the manly kind of man. Fortunately, he enjoys his Alaskan toys most of the time. And what he might not realize is that the kids think he is a Superhero.
They still brag about the day Daddee saved them from a grizzly bear that decided to check out the neighborhood park behind our house. “Daddee protect us,” Kyra would demonstrate by tucking her stuffed animal polar bear under one arm and her orca under the other and diving into Ethan’s Little Tikes Cozy Coupe and driving away like hell.
If they had a choice, they would prefer that Daddee drives them around town. They complain that I’m too slow and I don’t have a truck and maybe, they just feel safer with him behind the wheel. I do emit little panic yelps when I drive which cause my children to ask nervously, “What’s wrong Mommee?”
My son suddenly grabbed my legs in a bear hug. “Mommee, careful,” he said. In his hand, he waved his plastic screwdriver. “DeeDee help.”
“No, DeeDee,” I gently removed his arms. Even Little Brother, with his two-year-old brain, thinks that he is more capable than mom at fixing things. That’s probably my fault, because if anything breaks in the house including toys that simply need batteries, I say, “Daddee will fix it.”
Or maybe, it’s because of the way I freak out and jump on top of tables when critters invade our house. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mouse or gnat, the first sentence that the kids can understand amidst all the shrieking is: “Daddee will save us.”
Earlier this year, my kids finally decided that they could help Daddee with the Bug Crime fighting. I guess they got tired of trapping bugs under cups and waiting for Daddee to protect us from “Fly Fly.”
My man does not like to be in the spotlight. But today is his birthday, so I hope he’ll forgive me for celebrating all that he does for our family.
What hurdles has Alaska presented for the men in your house?