I got to see something truly fabulous today.
I saw my Best Beloved, at his favorite Chicago museum, The Museum of Science And Industry (courtesy of First Born's girlfriend, who works there, and got us in for free), take pictures of the historic race cars in the basement . He's always wanted to do that.
Another wonderful thing I saw: Best Beloved getting a chance to see the landing gear go up and down on the Boeing 727 hanging above the giant train sets in the museum. Not everybody gets to see that, because museum officials only move the gear for VIPs - or for the dad of the boyfriend of the museum employee holding the electronic do-hickey that makes the landing gear go up and down. (It gave a couple of delighted buddies who were nearby a completely unexpected show, for which they thanked BB and FB's GF profusely.)
A third wonderful thing I saw was BB, flying through nebulae, through the vast vertiginous darkness of far space, plunging into a puddled blaze of stars and unimaginably distant galaxies, courtesy of the Hubble telescope, and the museum's IMax theater.
(I flew with him, even though the trip and the theater - just as vertiginous as space - bid fair to poison me by pushing adrenaline into my system in non-stop pulses. I have rarely felt so far from home, and so close to panicking about it, and so happy to feel all of it, as I did in that theater. We are, as Yakko, Wacko, and Dot are wont to warble, living in a great big universe, whilst being very puny. About the size of Mickey Rooney ....)
I got to see BB and FB with their arms around each other, and take pictures of that. I got to see them bond in shared disgust at deviled eggs (story not relevant, bonding relevant.) I got to see BB enjoy Father's Day in a way he deserved to.
My Best Beloved is a fantastic father. He loves our First Born, and has done so since the moment he first got to cradle the little squalling speck in his own tired arms back on the afternoon of Oct. 20, 1984. In point of fact, he started loving him nine months before that.
He stayed up at night with a colicky infant; he comforted his tears. He told him stories at bedtime. He drew pictures for him, read to him, encouraged him to imagine things far beyond what the idiot's lantern could show him. And he also knew when to sit down in front the tube with his son, and laugh at silly cartoons, or introduce him to westerns or Star Trek, or the news.
He taught him hard lessons, even when those lessons were tossed back in his face with the irritating bravado of a teenager. He was willing to teach them repeatedly when necessary. He was willing to listen, if and when the little boy or the teenager wanted to talk, or to cry, or to ask for help.
He has loved him for 25 years. He's taught him everything from guitar chords to weird skiffy cravings, to a solid belief in right and wrong, science and wonder, and the proper timing for a pratfall.
He bequeathed to him brains, talent, a wiseacre attitude, rakish fashion sense, and a good heart.
He's made mistakes as a parent. Well, duh. That's what parents do. But few parents have ever worked harder to fix mistakes, or have loved as strong, as flexibly and as richly, as he has. His son has come to recognize what I always knew; he is blessed, and blessedly lucky, to have the father he does.
I didn't know my own father well. That's OK. The best father it's ever been my honor to know went to the Museum of Science and Industry today.
Oh, and these two? It's my First Born, with the Best Dad Ever.