Sweet Father’s Day 2012

Our family officially celebrated Father’s Day a week early, because that’s when our son was able to make the trek home from Connecticut. That meant that on the actual day, it was just my husband, “the Father,” and me, celebrating him as a great Dad.

I bought him a printer compatible with his iPad, which he loved, and then gifted him with a surprise excursion upstate New Hampshire which I had fully planned. We started the day with the present and a pot of coffee, which we enjoyed on the deck overlooking our garden – very “Martha Stewart”. We then “dubbed around” our land, picking weeds and flowers, and congratulating ourselves for all the beauty we’ve created. (That part is an almost daily ritual). Then we loaded up the kayaks and the car with supplies, and took off for the “surprise” trip to Squam Lake (“Golden Pond”), in Holderness, New Hampshire, munching on our “breakfast to go.” (He’d had a feeling it was probably Squam).

Unbeknownst to me, it was the last day of Motorcycle Week in Weirs Beach, which we had to go through to get to the lake, so the last leg of the journey was very interesting, complete with 200,000 bikers from all over, many of whom were Hells Angels. By the time we landed the kayaks it was 3:30, and as usual, most people were beginning to head home. That was just fine, as we had most of the giant lake to ourselves, as we often do on our trips, with our weird schedule. (We tooled all around France without reservations for two weeks in 1986 after a terrorist bombing, and never saw an American).

We paddled around for a few hours, admiring the stately summer homes and the mountains, as I watched my blissful husband, thinking, “these moments are precious, savor them, savor being with him, it’s not a given!”

We then left the lake and headed for Lago, a lakeside inn and restaurant at the northern point of Winnipesaukee. They serve drinks on the lawn at the water’s edge, where you sit in adirondack chairs, looking down the lake toward the mountains. It’s one of our favorite places, and we had it all to ourselves, because it was a Sunday night, and most (normal) people were already headed home. Then we had a lovely dinner at a table right by the window, watching the sunset.

It was the most perfect Father’s Day, and I kept thinking, “Why do we wait for special occasions to gift and acknowledge each other in this way? Why don’t we all appreciate each other like this every day?”

I hope you too had a lovely Father’s Day.
Susan Lager

P.S. To get a good sense of how strong your marriage is, and where it might need some tending, get a copy of my original Marital Wellness Evaluation on the “Products” page of this site.

Mothers Everywhere

Earlier tonight I went to a yearly fundraising auction for Sweetzer Services in Maine, an organization serving children and families in need. Many of the children have families who have serious mental health issues, or parents who cannot care for them. Many of the children live in group home settings, without families of their own in their lives. It’s always heartbreaking and heartwarming to hear their stories of survival and hope.

Whenever I go, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to help in some small financial way. I’m also reminded about what it must be like to grow up without a mother, or a family of one’s own.

I think it fitting, that on the eve of this Mother’s Day, mothers everywhere not diminish the critical role they play in the shaping of a child’s life through love, constancy and protection. For all you mothers who wrestle with self-doubt, feelings of inadequacy, exhaustion, and occasional despair, (most mothers?), remember that without your (flawed) love your children would be lost.

So, cut yourself a bit of slack, do your best, and celebrate your heroic role. Happy Mother’s Day!

A Very Special Birthday

Twenty-four years ago, right about now, I was in labor with our son Alec. I was clueless about how I’d live through the pain, and even more clueless about the grand adventure my husband and I were about to embark upon. I had never felt parenthood was part of my destiny, so making the decision to have a child was more like tossing a coin – “heads”: lets have a kid – maybe it will be fun, with no later-in-life wistfulness, “tails”: no kid – less noise and expense, more travel and sleep. So it turned out to be heads, and what an amazing journey it has been!  The experience of love so visceral, the joys so intense, the vulnerability so raw, the pride so vast, the sense of discovery so unending, the learning so constant, the mistakes so stupid, the fatigue so frequent, the disappointments so heartbreaking, the laughter and fun so deep, (on and on and on….)

So for anyone out there contemplating taking on the most important job in life with love in your heart, emotional consciousness, courage, diligence, and “ready enoughness”, I hope it will be “heads” for you too!

Happy birthday Alec, you are the most precious gift ever……….

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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