Saturday, June 14, 2008

Iron father's day.

9 years ago on April 2nd, 1999, my front door opened up to my date for the evening. It was my first date with Sweet Baboo.
And guess who answered the door?
Oh, no--not I.
It was three grubby kids, ranging in ages from 7 to 13. And, they were extra grubby that day, I promise.

Sweet Baboo had decided at a young age not to have children. He got a lot of family pressure, but he knew himself; what he wanted from life, and his own limits.

And there he was. On my front porch.

And there I was.

And there they were.




As the saying goes, life is what happens when you make other plans. Sweet Baboo knew about the kids before coming to pick me up. He weighed the options, and decided I was worth getting to know. I will tell you that SB is picky; even Ma Baboo warned me about this. He doesn't like messes, or loud people, or inconsistent behavior. But he figured that, eventually, the kids would grow up and start lives of their own, and then he would have me all to himself.

Less than a month later, he loaded a third-grade class into the back of his very clean station wagon and took them to McDonald's for a birthday party. When we took them all home to their parents in a small, rural town, most could not tell us where they lived. We drove around, hoping they would see familiar landmarks.
It's the blue house. It's by my grandmas. oh, there's a silo, too. And some cows.

In brief, I'll mention that there were no visitations, calls, or communication from Mini-baboo's birth father. He was not involved. Thus, there were no breaks from parenting for Sweet Baboo.
And, one by one, the kids grew up and left, except for the youngest: Mini-baboo.

From the beginning, Mini-baboo, age 8, was resistant to Sweet's attempts to set limits on his behavior. I am, I will admit, too easy on my kids. I had "single mother guilt" .

But Sweet Baboo is a rock. When Mini-baboo wanted Blue hair, I wavered; Sweet Baboo said, "No." When Mini wanted to wear lots and lots of hair gel, until his hair was white with it, Sweet grabbed the Wal clippers and performed his first "fade" haircut perfectly. I forgot when someone was grounded. Sweet Baboo always remembered. Calm, unwavering, Baboo was the rock that Mini-baboo flung himself against in an attempt to break every rule.

Many a time Sweet had to be the heavy--the unpopular one. The one that Mini railed against. Firm. Setting the limits that I was too wishy-washy to set.

Sweet-baboo voluntarily became responsible for school wardrobes, because whenever I did it, Mini would wind up with very baggy pants and shirts that are too big. ('Cus Mini-Baboo, well, he's chill like that.)
I was the one Mini complained to.

Sweet Baboo weathered the storm of the teenage hormone surge, food hoarding, bad hygene and wet socks stuffed into the couch about which Mini would say, wide-eyed, I have no idea how those got there.
I was the one that Sweet Baboo complained to.

Eventually, Mini-baboo asked for his last name to be changed legally to Sweet's. Then, gradually stopped fighting us on other things. It wouldn't have happened without Sweet the Immovable. He stopped fighting over clothes. Started asking for regular hair cuts from Sweet Baboo. He Joined Marine Corps JROTC.
He made friends who, for the most part, had parents that set limits, like we did.

Eventually, his grades came up. He stopped getting into trouble. Not perfect. But reasonable.
It would not have happened without Sweet Baboo.

Next year on Father's day that last, youngest kiddo will have graduated and moved on. Sweet Baboo's wait will be over: he'll finally have me all to himself. He worked hard for it.

Sweet Baboo did, deliberately and thoughtfully, what many men have done without much much thought: He became a Dad, not just simply fathered a child.
He didn't have to. He chose to.

Happy Father's Day, Sweet Baboo I love you.



  1. And I have never made a better choice in my life. If you were the old lady living in the shoe with all those kids I'd make the same exact choice without a second thought, without looking back. You are my life.

  2. Awww, what a sweet tribute!

  3. What a fabulous story for a fabulous couple!

  4. Beautiful, simply beautiful. Happy Father's Day S. Baboo!

  5. I'm in love with him!

  6. Beautiful story. You're one lucky gal!

  7. You got yourself a really great guy there.

  8. What a fantastic tribute!

  9. That is a fantastic tribute. As a girl who gained a dad just like Sweet Babboo, I can tell you that it was an amazing gift. My dad is such a hero to me.

  10. Aww, I actually teared up and that is a feat. :)

    Happy Father's Day to both of you.

  11. I teared up too. You are very lucky. Happy Father's Day.

  12. Nice tribute. SB is one stand up guy and not only to you but to the kids as well.

  13. That was awesome. I got totally teary. Happy Father's Day!

  14. Sweetness is the man!

  15. Anonymous6:01 PM

    ooooooh how sweet - that is a truly lovely dedication!!!

    I also wanted to stop by and wish you an early GOOD LUCK in case I missed your last post b4 Ironman

    You are gonna have a blast!!!! Looking forward to reading all about it next week.

  16. How beautiful!! Brings up those little goosebumps. What a great guy. You both ar elucky.

  17. Very nice. And Mini-Baboo is very fortunate...his life is forever changed for the better. He may never truly understand how much his life has been impacted by your loving husband, but it definately has been impacted for the better. :)

  18. Yeah! Anyone can help make a baby...but it takes a special man to be a FATHER! (How lucky for your kids that he came into their lives!)

  19. What a wonderful fathers day celebration!! How lucky all of you are!

  20. Fantastic Father's Day post. See you soon!

  21. That is a wonderful post, and tribute to Sweet Baboo!


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