Reports From HomeCasey Mullins
If you’ll allow me a moment to give my husband the credit he deserves as a father, I would greatly appreciate it.
He has been left the solo parent at least a half dozen times over the summer. Sometimes he just has the baby, sometimes he has just the big one, most of the time he has both. I seem to travel a lot in the summer, with conferences, weddings and photography jobs. I’m currently in San Diego, yesterday I toured a Disney cruise ship without them (I felt like I was cheating on my whole family) and Cody has been back home texting me updates about our little kids he is taking around town.
Apparently the little one is going through a growth spurt, I have gotten several texts about her eating everything in sight. All I can do it text back and say things like “Make sure the strawberries get eaten!” or “I washed and plucked a whole bunch of grapes! Make sure those get eaten before they get furry! THE EGGS! I got eggs at the farmer’s market!” Cody does a darn fine job as a solo parent and he’s only gotten better the more we’ll-call-them “opportunities” he’s had.
Yesterday he took both girls to Addie’s book fair, I know because Cody posted a picture on Instagram of Vivi showing a particular interest in a zombie book. He takes them to the gym with him, he usually takes them out for dinner at least once and they generally go on at least one grand adventure while I’m gone. Four years ago when I would leave Addie with Cody I made sure there were meals in the fridge, clothes set out and I left with the expectation that as long as Addie was still alive when I returned Cody did his job even if she ate nothing but cheeseburgers and fish crackers all weekend. He was in law school and had plenty of other things to worry about, he missed out on a lot of Addie’s childhood so parenting wasn’t so much a second nature thing to him because he just wasn’t doing it all that often. We’ve both had our regrets about the law school years and what it meant for Cody as a dad and us as a couple but we’ve moved past it and learned from our mistakes.
To see the dad Cody has become now, partly because he has the time and also because he knows just how important it is, has inspired so much gratitude for me as his wife. Nearly a dozen years ago I first laid eyes on a guy that worked at Radio Shack, we had nothing in common, yet 6 months later we were married. We were both little kids, we didn’t know anything about being grown-ups or being parents. I couldn’t be entirely sure what kind of dad he would be and he was probably even more uncertain about the kind of mother I could be. That we’ve settled into our roles as caregivers and providers, not only for our children, but for each other as well is one of the things that I am thankful for every night as I go to sleep.
We are all taken care of. Cody takes care of me, I do my best to take care of him, we both take care of our girls and Addie is a spectacular big sister and oldest daughter. The jury is still out on Vivi, after all she’s the only one in our house with a tendency towards serious violence in the form of fork throwing and sippy cup launching. I can only imagine that growing up in our family where we are all the most important people to each other the toddler violence will fade away and Vivi will one day be an equally amazing 7-year-old. (If not, I know a good lawyer.)
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.
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