June is a special month in the Long family. The pool finally opens in June, or rather, the pool is finally ready for swimming in June. Father’s Day is in June. Most importantly, June is my birthday month, which I share with my twin brother and our dad.
A special month deserves a special post for Guys behind the Blog. It’s also time for the quarterly Blogger Men Tell All. And I forgot to get this post done early, so today is also Thankful Thursday! This month, I’ve asked both Dan AND my dad all the questions! Enjoy getting to know more about the two most important men in my life.
Blogger Men Tell All
What is your favorite summer treat?
Dad: Would something as boring as “swimming” be all right?
Dan: I love ice cream! I mean is this really a question? I’m pretty sure I get my love of ice cream from my dad…
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go and why?
Dad: Of course, I would go to Myrtle beach because that’s where I went on vacation as a child. Then we went on multiple vacations with you guys as a family. So it’s just a special place for me.
Dan: I’m going to go with Mars on this one. It’d be quite the experience, and I’d totally be the first one there. Brita can come too, and we’ll stop at the moon on the way so she can pick up the “first woman there” accomplishment as well.
Do you have a favorite song that says “summer” to you? What is it?
Dad: There’s so many I can think of… Let’s see. “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters.
Dan: Not really. I mean the Beach Boys is a good band to go with to feel like summertime though.
What summer project are you hoping to accomplish before fall?
Dad: I generally don’t have projects in the summer.
Dan: I’m assuming we aren’t talking about work projects here… Recreationally, I’m hoping to finish up renovating the Longs’ pool house and maybe enjoy it a bit before the pool is done for the summer.
The Guys Behind the Blog
What did you have as a child that kids today don’t have?
Dad: I could ride my bicycle within a radius of several miles around my house without any fear of strangers or danger. I don’t think many kids could say that anymore.
Dan: Respect for my parents… NOW GET OFF MY LAWN! In all seriousness though, growing up as a child, I had a unique experience where there wasn’t really a threat against the entire world. The generation now has to worry about terrorism, mass shootings, and God knows what else the media can come up with. I mean, all of that was probably there to an extent when I was growing up, but the 24 hour news cycle really amplifies the fear on everything. Prior generations had to worry about the nuclear apocalypse and world wars and such.
What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?
Dad: A medical doctor.
Dan: An astronaut! I think I would have been an excellent one, but looking back now with the retirement of the space shuttle and the United States’ complete lack of focus on space exploration outside of robots, I think I made the right call going for civil engineering.
What three adjectives would you use to describe fatherhood?
Dad: Rewarding, difficult, fun.
Dan: Since I’m not one yet, lets go with “scary,” “responsible,” and “rewarding.”
How many years have you been a father and how many children do you have?
Dad: 29 years. I have 3 children.
Dan: I’ve been a father for negative years between 1 and 10 I’d say and I have “i” children (imaginary for those not getting the math reference).
What is one piece of advice or wisdom you would like to pass on to your children?
Dad: To be kind.
Dan: Never lose your sense of humor no matter how dark things seem.
They say that you grow up to marry someone like your parent. I always thought that was a little weird, but it’s true in a way. My mother-in-law, my sister-in-law-in-law (Dan’s brother’s wife), and I all have different interests, but we’re all intelligent, independent, and close with our families. We’re also all way quieter than the Fleck men.
Dan and my dad are different on the surface. Dan has a lot of restless energy, which he devotes towards car maintenance and home improvement projects. My dad uses his free time to relax with the newspaper, TV, and now Facebook. But both my dad and my husband have a strong work ethic, a quietly (non-boastful) generous spirit, a commitment to family and friends, and a devotion to the community. Oh, and they both share a tendency to spoil me!
I might have opened this blog post by sharing how special June is to my family, but this June has also been a struggle for us. I’ve been open with my ongoing health problems. (At the end of the next week, I’ll have had 10 distinct medical appointments/visits in 8 weeks, yay). All of us miss my mom, who died last summer on July 13th. June might bring three birthdays for us, but this year we all had to celebrate without my mom for the first time.
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I finally tried out my new pool float over the weekend while visiting my dad. My husband held the float steady while I climbed on, but we hadn't inflated it enough, and I fell into the water. My husband caught me, so only my bottom half got wet. I still burst into tears. My skin is so irritated right now that I can't get into the pool. I did once last week, and my skin promptly started itching. And it continued to itch even after drying off. My new float was supposed to keep me dry and out of the water so that for at least an hour or two, I could pretend to enjoy a normal summer. While I finally saw a dermatologist yesterday, my physical health isn't the only challenge in my life. July 13th will mark a year since my mother's death, and I spend even more time than usual crying. Why do I share all this? As a reminder that Instagram isn't real life. I love sharing pretty pictures, but they aren't the whole story. What's the truth behind your photos? #LaBelleBlog
I’m thankful for both my dad and my husband, always, but especially right now. Dan understands my need to spend a lot of time in Greenwood with my dad this summer. My dad welcomes me home whenever I want, watches my favorite TV shows with me, and takes me out to all my favorite restaurants.
They have both spent the last two months listening to me cry about my health issues. I feel like a broken record, but I’ve been so physically uncomfortable (and occasionally in severe pain) that I’ve broken down crying more times than I can count. Their continued love, comfort, and support is the only thing getting me through this summer.
I’m co-hosting Thankful Thursday again with Charlene! She’s looking for co-hosts in the upcoming months if you’re interested. It’s a great way to focus on gratitude at least once a month.
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Tell me about your dad! Did you or will you marry anyone like your parents? Do you think that’s totally weird, or does it sort of make sense to you?