The summer has passed in The Beandricks household, just as it has for all who inhabit their community, and there is no shortage of memories to tuck away in the corners of the family member’s minds. As one season ends, so naturally does a new one begin, and Fall in the lives of the Beandricks is an exciting one. With the return to school, the fun of Hallowe’en, and not one, but two birthdays to celebrate, there was much to look forward to along with the changing of the leaves.
As Father prepares for his body and mind to reach another milestone, he cannot help but reflect back on some of the moments that helped him grow this year more than any that came before it. With so much to be grateful for, and many lessons learned, a few stood out to him today more than others:
Lesson thirteen, in which Father is at his proudest
More often than not in The Beandricks’ household there is laughter and play afoot. Be it dressing up in a variety of costumes, using imagination as a means of creation, or simply telling each other jokes, there is a palpable joy that permeates the walls of their home. So important is a sense of fun, expression, imagination and play to Father, that on one particular day he found himself at his proudest as the result a most innocent and passing comment.
As they tidied up from their afternoon tea, ice cream, and ‘super formal business meeting’ party, in which Father was graciously awarded the “Guest of Honour and Good Employee” title, Nora, who held dual roles of host and manger paused to say:
“Can I tell you something, Daddy?”
“You can tell me anything, anytime my dear. What’s on your mind?”
“You being silly lets me know that me that me being silly is ok.”
Lesson fourteen, in which father creates a mistake
Experimenting in the kitchen is a daily activity for Father. He is always pushing the limits of what he can do with different ingredients and products. Much of the time these forays into the unknown yield wonderful results. Other times, on select occasions, however, they are nothing but a mess…
“What are you doing, daddy?” his oldest daughter asked as she walked into the kitchen to find Father hovering over a steaming pot atop the stove.
“I’m spinning sugar, my dear. At least, that’s what I am trying to do, I’ve not attempted this in quite some time.”
The act of spinning sugar, while resulting in wonderful decorations, say, for a cake, is one that can also go very poorly, very quickly, should proper attention not be given. And so, we will skip to the end of this story…where we find Father scraping burnt, hardened sugar from the counter…and the stove top…and the pots and pans…and his clothes…and his skin.
“Is that supposed to happen, Dad?”
With a frustration in his voice aimed only at himself, he replies: “No, honey, Dad made a mistake.”
“I like when you make mistakes, Daddy, because it means you’re still learning, and I always want to learn, even when I’m as old as you.”
Lesson fifteen, in which Father continues his story
Scrapes and bruises are a part of life. They can come from unexpected places under unexpected circumstances and in varying degrees of severity. Father, while responsible and careful, has endured more than his fair share of burns, cuts and scrapes from years of working in kitchens, using various workshop tools, or simply puttering around the house carrying about on the endless number of projects he has been able to justify to himself over the years. For each of these incidents he proclaims that a great new entry to his life’s adventure has just taken place, and he has the proof. He will asses a risk, educate himself, and does not shy away from the possibility of danger, understanding that some unfortunate events will happen in life. He doesn’t ignore the hurt, but embraces it for what it is.
This approach to injury and accidents has, by whatever means, passed down to his children; such to the point that, casting fear aside and allowing the well-justified tears to subside, more often than not come the words of:
“Look Daddy: I collected a new story today! I hope to have just as many stories as you do when I’m over 40.”
Lesson sixteen, in which Father hears what he wants to hear
The human body, for better for worse, changes every day; and as we grow and evolve, so too can our own impressions of ‘self’. Our physique morphs and moves in ways we don’t expect. Our muscles need more tender love and care. Our overall abilities, as a result, can often shift in unison. So, upon catching a glimpse of his reflection in a sun-kissed pond one afternoon, Father stopped and turned to his loving wife to ask:
“My dear, will you continue to love me even when I am twice the age I am today?”
Because her wisdom stretches far beyond his ever could, she understood what led him to ask this question, and her response was both eloquent and sincere:
“My dear, sweet, hunk of a husband, there’s is nothing, in this life or any other, that could take away the love that I feel for you. You grow more and more handsome everyday. There is not a statue in the World as defined as you. No galaxy that could compare to the shine you hold in your eyes. I see not Dad bod, but fab bod. You are lovely, timeless, and beautiful in every way a person can be.”
Lesson Seventeen, in which Father comes clean
Upon reading Father’s most recent post, the loving Mother of The Beandricks clan provided some constructive feedback, particularly in response to Lesson Sixteen…
“Well, you certainly have a creative imagination, I can’t argue that.”
Lesson eighteen, in which father sees beyond the trees
And so it has been another year in the life of Father, full of great adventure, excitement and achievement. As much as he enjoys forever learning, and always growing, this particular age seems to have hit him with the realization that his body will not always be able to keep up with his ambition.
While he stared at the cake set before him, his thoughts drifted for a moment; a moment his daughter happened to catch.
“What are you thinking about, Daddy?”
“Oh, I’m just thinking about how many candles there are on this cake now, my dear. It’s difficult for grown-ups sometimes to consider how many more of these little flames must be extinguished with every passing year. While there are many good memories and…”
Father was abruptly interrupted.
“Daddy! Why are you counting candles when you could be eating cake?!”
Welcome, Fall, and all of the fantastic things you bring into our lives. It is a new season for all, and a new year for some; there’s much to embrace as you enter our world and, for The Beandricks, little is lost on them for what the changing of the seasons means. Father embraces his opportunity for growth, his daughters encourage and remind him to stay young, and his loving wife endures everything that resides in between those two impossible states of mind. We will certainly check back in with the family down the road, and until then: I hope you can all find the joy that change can bring.
For other lessons learned:
Lessons from the Family, Part 1
Lessons from the Family, Part 2