yoga mat monday

fathers day, dad, mentor

Not a lot happened in yoga tonight, so I thought for this Monday’s post, I would share a story about the person in my life who helps me the most in my search for equanimity.

Yesterday was Father’s Day.  And the web was littered with posts and articles wishing fathers everywhere a happy day.  Dad’s were taken to breakfast or lunch, spent days at ballparks and picnics and some probably received some pretty sweet gifts.  My husband is not a “dad” and therefore was not part of these Sunday celebration.  However, I thought everyone should know he maybe should have been.  While we don’t have biological children…we don’t want them…he spends more time providing “dad” like support to many people in our lives than many actual dads probably do.

This weekend we had the foster boys who lived with us for 7 months a few years ago.  Their mother is one of the few who recognize how important it can be to keep the foster parents in their kid’s lives and so we get to see them every 4 or 5 weeks.  This weekend they attended the husband’s softball games, visited the pool twice and hung at a super kid-friendly BBQ.   Aside from all the fun things we do with the boys though, my husband also spends a large amount of time acting as a mentor for the boys and their mother.  My husband excels at listening and empathizing and usually receives weekly calls from the boys or their mom looking for advice or just wanting to share their week. She asks him to talk with boys when they misbehave or stop listening to her.  The boys will call to share stories of band camp and karate classes.  You can already see how important he has become in their lives.

Across the street lives a family with a young teenage boy.  His family works a lot, and he is often home alone.   My husband has become somewhat of a second father figure for this boy too.  When he’s locked out we provide him a couch, when his mom works late we’ve been known to feed him, the husband stops him from dragging out a too-tall ladder to climb and assists in the building of skate ramps.  And every time we drive by the boy out and about with his buddies, he always, ALWAYS hollers hello to my husband.

The husband also has a young man he works with who has fallen on some not so fun life challenges recently.  My husband has taken it upon himself to make sure this young man has the support and resources he needs to make it through this extremely difficult time.  He makes our spare bedroom and laundry room readily available,  offers needed advice and life experiences and often times, can be found waxing poetic while helping this young man improve his softball skills.

On any other unoccupied weekend he can be found dancing with his niece or on a kitchen floor in a heard of kids.

So while no one wished him a Happy Father’s Day yesterday, the young gal taking money at the pool recognized him as a “father figure” and let him in for free…and that was pretty cool!

yoga mat monday

Sometimes I think when I tell people I do yoga, they have visions of a classroom full of young, fit, sweating women in their cute little yoga outfits defying gravity with each pose. On the contrary, at 38 I am one of the youngest in a class that, on a good week, pushes max capacity at 25-30 students.  There is an equal mix of men and women and many are well into their 50s, 60s and above.  My yoga instructor’s mom takes class with me and she is 72 (and can snort with the best of us).  And it’s within this older community where I have begun to find great moments of inspiration.

This past week, my ‘older generation inspirations’ continued into my weekend.

The father-in-law and his wife were renewing their wedding vows and my husband’s grandma was in town for the event.  I had the pleasure of riding in the back seat with her on the way to dinner (at Pizza Hut no less) and discovered the following:

1. Grandma is 84 and she has a membership to Curves…and goes on a regular basis.

 

2. She likes to drink her beer fast, before it gets hot.  She actually prefers keg beer…cause you can take just a little at a time so its always cold.

3. When offered a JagerBomb, she says ‘sure why not?’

I also discovered a friend’s grandfather ran a 10K with him this weekend.  At 81, he managed to not only run the entire thing, but finished in a respectable 1 hour and 15 minutes which secured him third place in his age group and a trophy to prove it.  He also ran the race with an actual Walkman tape player and old school headphones.

Its stories like these that give me the kick in the ass I so often need.  I can only hope at 81 I’m still lacing up the kicks and telling the younger generation how I like my vodka cold.  And next week when I’m in the middle of a bad run or a not so great day at work, thoughts of that 81 year old will probably drag me through the muck.