Here is what you need to know about Grace and Kate's dad and my husband, Alex. He is great, blah, blah, blah and he won't mind me glossing over his greatness like that because we both kind of cringe when couples show social media love to one another. Other than being great, he is, like any dad, pretty fiercly protetive of his girls. Not in an 'I don't want them jumping off the sailboat mid-sail', protective, because that is just another Tuesday for our girls (I am less enthusiatic about these moments). He is more of an, 'I never want them to feel left out or less important than anyone else' kind of protective, which I think is pretty awesome.
I will admit, that sometimes, his insistance to include Kate in all of our activities can be a little daunting and a lot exhausting. I fully understand that he wants her to have every opportunity available. She will be skiing at SugarLoaf, USA this week and this summer she will see her first Red Sox game (Grace will see her third). I will fret over her feeling trapped by the ski boots or overwhelmed by the new experience and Alex will look forward to watching her charge down the hill (attached to him, of course). I will have anxiety over whether Kate will enter sensory overload at Fenway and Alex will look forward to buying her her first Red Sox Jersey (Pedroia, of course, since Youk left). Don't get me wrong, he has a healthy handle on what could go wrong for Kate, he just doesn't let it dampen her experiences. I want her to do these things, too. I am glad he is there to push me when I second guess Kate's ability to handle things. He always gives her the benefit of the doubt and as I am learning, she most often proves him right.
When I sit and think about this I realize that this attitude towards Kate will transfer to other parts of her life. Her dad's faith in her will snowball into successes that she might not otherwise experience. He helps me, and everyone on Kate's team, realize that the sky is the limit for her (as he likes to say). For Alex it goes something like this: Should Kate mountain climb? of course! Should Kate play varsity ball? No doubt. Should Kate get a full-ride to M.I.T? Naturally. This is how he sees her. This is how he sees Grace. This is how he sees your children too. I am learning to see my students this way. Limitless. It is a pretty great quality for a parent to have.
I am treating you to another of my original pieces of artwork. Clearly, my colouring skills are lacking but you get the scene, I'm sure. I call this one. "Don't Tell Mom That Dad Took Us To a Black Diamond."
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)