Filling Dad’s Boots

As a child I remember putting on my Dad’s boots and clomping around the house or going out to gather eggs or some such chore. They were large and heavy and made me clumsier than normal. I was able to get the job done but it was harder than wearing my own shoes. It made my legs sore and rubbed blisters on my feet. I was trying to fill a void that I was not equipped to fill.

Yancey, Nannie, Emily and I were deer hunting the other day. I had on tennis shoes because I don’t have a pair of hunting boots anymore. My feet were freezing even with three pairs of socks. Yancey had the idea that I should wear his boots next time because, “your foot is the same size as mine.”

Um, no. It isn’t. The boots were super heavy and flopped around on my feet while I trudged through the forest in search of my prey (I am in the Elmer Fudd category). How does he lug those things around all day? I out weigh him by a good 30 pounds and could barely lift my feet enough to get over the branches on the trail. He trots around in these steel toed beasts like they weigh nothing.

It dawned on me suddenly. I’m not made to walk around in his boots no more than he could walk around in my high heels all day. I can’t do his jobs and he can’t do mine. Maybe can’t isn’t an appropriate word because we COULD do one another’s jobs if we had no other choice, but we wouldn’t necessarily enjoy it nor be good at it. Changing shoes or jobs would not be a good fit. We are built to do opposing things so that we compliment one another as a husband and wife unit. He is talented with his hands and mechanical workings. He can make an engine work or build a room from the ground up. I’m more of a contemplative person and like to write stories and do office type work (I sell insurance). He flies by the seat of his pants while I schedule everything. He bull heads in with a passion while I sit back and watch people to make sure I can trust them. I slow him down and pack his underwear while he takes me on spur of the moment journeys that I wouldn’t usually consider but enjoy immensely. He drives with the fuel light on for days while I’m having a stroke if my car gets below 1/4 of a tank. My life has never been so fun though!

He is an amazing dad to all of our kids because he can get right in there with them and have fun! I wish I was that mom. I desperately want to be the fun mom. For some unknown reason I cannot be her though. It’s shoes I can’t fill. I must admit, I’m terribly jealous of those fun moms. I’m not particularly good at fun in the first place, but that is why Yancey and I compliment one another’s parenting styles so well. I’m insanely patient and quiet while he is losing his mind and yelling across the house because one of the girls is taking too long in the shower or Bam is running around the yard naked. I make sure doctor’s appointments are made and he takes them fishing. I go to the parent teacher conference and he cooks on the grill. I talk to the cop in the front yard while he stays in the house to help the boys hide (throwing dirt at passing cars was said crime against humanity and I made them come back out and face the music). I worry over the bills and groceries in the house while he works and figures that everything will fall into place as it should. Normally, he is right and everything works out perfectly. The faith that man has is amazing!

I realize I will never get to be the fun parent and I’m okay with that because that is not the shoes I wear. I’m comfortable being the ‘responsible and boring’ parent. He is cut out for floppy clown shoes and mine are chunky heeled granny shoes. He is a huge kid and I cannot imagine him any other way, no matter how frustrated I get with him at times for not taking me seriously. I know someday I will get to be the only one enjoying all the fun that he comes up with on a daily basis because our kids will fly away to their new lives. For now, I will keep my feet in my own shoes and do my part while he does his. We make a perfect team and NOBODY will ever fill our shoes like we can!

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