That Time I Forgot Father’s Day
This is a difficult one to explain… because I didn’t forget that last Sunday was Father’s Day. In fact, we were going to visit friends in hospital, and I had tried to think of something Father’s Day related to take that dad. I had also thought about how I wanted to call my own dad later that dad, so that I could wish him a Happy Father’s Day. So, I KNEW it was Father’s Day…. but for some reason, through all the party planning, Eli’s birthday, and the gifts that were still unopened on Sunday morning, I just somehow “slipped up” on this one. I’m not even sure how to explain it, because I did know that it was father’s day, but all morning long, I never thought about the fact that JUSTIN was a father! I’m not even sure if that makes sense?!
We woke up early on June 18th, and set up a cute little birthday breakfast for Eli. We gathered all his gifts from the party, and all the ones that his Texas grandparents had sent home with Justin. I guess I should have been thinking, “This is a Birthday breakfast AND a Father’s Day Breakfast”. But I totally forgot about the latter. Justin cooked packages, eggs and bacon, and we all sat down to eat and open gifts.
Plans That Didn’t Materialize
In the two weeks leading up to Father’s Day, one of the moms in Qingdao had made a Father’s Day chat group. I had pretty much assumed that we were doing something fun with a few of the other expat families. However, that event didn’t materialize, and somehow I was left with no card, no gift…. and completely speechless when I realized that it was Father’s Day, I hadn’t said anything to Justin, and I had nothing planned.
The irony about all of this is that we never usually care too much about this… but for some reason, I felt really guilty. I guess because I had thought we were going to do something special, and then ended up with NOTHING!
Some friends of ours were in the municipal hospital. If you know anything about Chinese hospitals then you will know that there is no “care” aspect. There is a bed, medicine, and some nurses popping in and out, but ALL care responsibilities fall onto the family members of the patient. You wouldn’t believe it until you saw it. Hospitals here would BLOW YOUR MIND!
Of course, when an expat family has to face a hospital stay, we all pull together to be the “family” that most of us just don’t have here. We signed up for Sunday Lunch, and after our breakfast and gift opening, we went to Leader Plaza to pick up some lunch, supplies, and treats for our friends in hospital.
On the way to the hospital, Eli gave daddy some sweet cuddles in the back of the taxi. You can’t tell from the picture, but he was softly tickling Justin’s neck with this thumb.
Run Day Sunday
Justin really didn’t care that I “forgot” Father’s Day, and that I had no plans for us, but I still felt bad. We decided that we would seize the day and head out for a run along the coast. This has become something of a Sunday tradition for us – and we absolutely love it! We do a long run and then end our workout at our favorite Korean take-out restaurant. They have a couple of tables outside the restaurant, so we sit in the shade and relax. It is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Eli had the meat dumplings, Justin had the pork cutlet and curry, and I had my usual, the kimchi jjiage (which is a spicy pork and cabbage stew). The food – as always – was perfect!
Eli LOVES these large round rice cakes.
He was acting like a silly clown with one of the rice cakes, and then he looked to the right and saw…
Look at how excited he got when the shop assistant showed him how it worked. Above Left, Pure and utter JOY!
A couple of people stopped to look at Eli. This isn’t a new occurrence for us, BUT they all kept pointing out that he was without shoes. Almost like we didn’t know. It is almost taboo to go without shoes in China. The truth is, it is so darn dirty here that people always insist on wearing shoes. They won’t even go barefoot at home.
The interesting thing is that they feel nothing to spit and throw trash on the floor. You’d think that if you were so worried about cleanliness, you would try to keep things a little more sanitary. And here’s the strangest thing… A really miserable guy came out of the above store and pointed at Eli’s feet. He looked over at us like we were absolutely mad! Then – OH MY GOSH – he asked Eli for the rice cake in his hand. I watched in horror as he took the rice cake, held it in his hands, and then gave it back to Eli so that he could keep eating it. I honestly DON’T understand this! We are crazy for letting our kind walk around without shoes, but it’s okay for a stranger to walk over and touch the food he is eating????
Just another mind-boggling thing about China!
After our family lunch date, we took a slow walk home. Eli and Justin, as usual, played and laughed the whole way. They are just adorable together. So, despite my slip-up, we had a wonderful day. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t care too much about gifts. In fact, he would much rather take quality time over any gift. I wish I had clicked sooner, and turned our breakfast into a Father’s Day breakfast too, but nevertheless, all that matters are the special times – not how we label them.
We are so thankful for Justin, and all that he does for us!! He is an absolute gem, and Eli loves him to bits. When Justin goes to work, Eli wants to go with him, and when he gets home he does a little happy dance. I feel exactly the same. We are his little cheer squad. We love You Daddy!