Father’s Day Firsts

My first Father’s Day has now come and gone. As it approached it all seemed so strange. I had little or no expectation of what it would be like, and Ali regularly interrogated me to gauge my excitement. Sadly, my excitement was lacking. With Hadley being only months old, it wasn’t as if she was going to surprise me. Yet, as always, Ali did.

Fred's First Father's Day

One of the funny things about my lovely wife is that when it comes to gifts she is extremely child-like. While she is profoundly sophisticated at conceiving and selecting gifts, always thoughtful and generous, she absolutely cannot stop talking about one after she has secured it. So, for the last month or so, Ali has been playfully taunting me with her regular chatter of "Are you exited about your first Father’s Day? I already got your present. I think you are going to love it. Do you want me to give it to you now? Ooooh, I can hardly wait to give it to you. I hope you like it!" Every major event where gifts are involved between the two of us, some similar build toward the point of bursting ensues. She simply cannot contain her enthusiasm. It is quite endearing. I am just glad that she holds off on the Christmas present. Otherwise, I might have my gift before September, because her excitement could possibly overtake her. Nevertheless, she scored well with two remarkably warm and wonderful gifts.

I Love Daddy   Working Single Handedly...Literally

As there is  a long standing tradition in her family of presenting fathers with an ugly tie, she playfully riffed off of this idea with Hadley’s gift to me. It features one of my favorite snapshots of Hadley in a random collage-effect, all printed on a black necktie. Not exactly an everyday tie, not that I wear one all that often anyway, but still one that is likely to get occasional use, especially as Hadley gets older and finds it more embarrassing. What larks wearing it will be then!

#1 Dad Shirt

The second gift was the real gem. Ali fashioned a book together which tells the story of my becoming a dad, complete with text and a stunning selection of photos from the past year, highlighting my newfound role. It is really quite beautiful. It is hardbound, like a small children’s book and prominently features many of my favorite pictures of Hadley. For a booklover, what could have been more loving? It was really quite touching and short story was not without Ali’s typical sharp wit.

The New Charcoal Chimney

All and all, it was a lovely day with many well wishes, which was quite nice. Not knowing what to make of the whole it turned out to be quite a treat. We celebrated the Ali’s Dad’ annual Mountain of Meat commemoration of the occasion, which is not to be missed. Plus, I even got a very generous gift from the in-laws, which was stunningly kind. It certainly makes me look forward to the whole event with a bit more relish for the future.

Here’s all the pics from Father’s Day.

From MA to IL – Primary Destination Glen Ellyn

Delayed but nevertheless pressing on, here is the continuation of our trip out West, as the New England locals confusingly claim. I don’t know about the rest of you, but out West has the suggestion of California to me. We were just heading to Illinois. Also, apologies for the delay, as I was driven to finish class work for my last graduate class. As I write this, I am overjoyed to announce that I have completed all the requirements for my Master of Arts in Teaching degree, finally. As Stan Lee would say, “Excelsior!”

Picking up where I last left off, we arrived in Chicago for our first week, filled with family demands and some fun. I was a bit hamstrung trying to hammer out various writings for the aforementioned classes, but the girls were off and running straight away. Within days we were graced with the new Terwedow arrival, as Ali’s brother Henry and his wife Mona proudly displayed a three-week old Zoë, still fresh and pink from the womb. The viewing of the baby also coincided with Keri’s birthday, Chicago-style. The old girl took the additional year in stride, albeit with the help of heavy reliance on her compadre Sangria, as can be seen in the lower right corner of the frame below. Older brother Henry got into the birthday celebration act too, but no doubt to his satisfaction no documentation of his festivities were fit to print.

Photo: Baby Zoe Photo: Keri with Birthday Cake

It is always a joy to see the other two of the brood, the corn silk kids, Caitlin and Carl. The precocious tandems are always thoroughly entertaining to me. During the course of the evening, they were treated to a bat sighting in the backyard, as well as plenty of cake.

Photo: Caitlin and Carl

Of course with the appearance of new people, the customary retrieval of photo albums was performed. This family ritual proved to be most enlightening. An absolutely fascinating byproduct was the discovery that Zoë and her Aunt Ali proved to be infant doppelganger, as evidenced by the picture below. This was much to the chagrin and consternation of Ali’s brother and father of the newborn, Henry. But the picture speaks for itself!

Photo: Ali and Zoe

By the end of the week all three of us, Keri, Ali, and myself made preparations for yet another road trip deeper into the heart of the nation. We would be packing up and heading for Indian Territory, otherwise known as South Dakota. Stay tuned.