This weekend, not only did I celebrate Father's Day (like so many here in the US), but my parents were celebrating their 34th wedding anniversary! Like many married couples, they were together for years before that. And regardless, 34 years of marriage is nothing to sneeze at. Next year they plan to finally take a long-overdue trip to Hawaii to mark their 35th. I hope to figure out something special my siblings and I can do for them to honor the occasion. Hawaii is a place they've wanted to see for ... well 34+ years! But my parents have never been big travelers. They still live in my father's boyhood home, in the area where they both grew up. After they had kids they rarely left town without us (occasional business trips were the only times). And it wasn't financially realistic to take vacations that required plane tickets for the entire clan. My folks were more interested in saving the money to help with the cost of three college educations (not to mention all the other parental expenses they were generous enough to assume). I really hope they do something indulgent and for themselves after all these years!
To celebrate 34 years, we kids gave them a gift that was very inexpensive but that moved them both. At home, I had an 8 by 10 frame that was from the cookie table decor of my own wedding. It was matted to display two 4 by 6 photos, side by side. To turn it into an appropriate anniversary gift, I picked two photo prints of my parents: one from their wedding day and one from mine.
They loved it and it was such a simple, inexpensive idea! In this era of photographic post-materiality, it is a gift just to save someone from the task of ordering and framing tangible prints. And the photographic aftermath of our wedding has yielded many gift opportunities for all three sets of parents.
Chris and his brother also came up with a clever, sentimental, and inexpensive father's day gift that made a bigger splash than the other, more costly gifts they gave. They compiled a list of songs that their dad sang to them when they were kids and turned it into a mixed cd. The entire family was so excited to gather around and listen when they learned what it was. And Chris's dad was clearly moved by the gesture. One of the really interesting things I noticed as a relative newcomer to the family was the excitement his baby sister (who is 20 years younger than Chris but really no longer a baby at age 11) exhibited when she also was able to recognize so many of the songs from her own childhood.
I'll post some outfits and a review or two this week. I've been wearing some version of my Drawing Parallels skirt with a striped or basic top, as though it is my uniform. Later today I'm also going to post a less-than-flattering Tippi-dress-in-action photo. Happy (belated) Father's Day!