When Robin and I were young parents, we decided that one of us needed to take the lead at home as it was getting tough juggling work and a baby. 🐣 My career was taking off and Robin was not thrilled with his so it was a natural choice for us. This decision was not a popular one in our community but we knew it was right for our family. Robin did not care what people thought. He enjoyed being a dad and was happy to take on his full time role. He stepped into daddy duties quickly by taking Isabelle on all his errands in her baby carrier. If it was the grocery store, haircut appointment or out to lunch with his friends, she was his sidekick.💈People would stop him to look at the cute baby and most comments were something to the effect of “well we certainly know who her daddy is” She looked just like him and their bond was undeniable. I remember feeling jealous at times that they had so much time together and actually enjoyed it. 😡
Part of Robin’s daddy tasks involved taking Isabelle to Gymboree classes where he was the only guy there. He would sit in the circle, sing the songs and join in as if it was normal and no big deal. Once the novelty wore off, he became just like the other mothers. They would talk baby stuff, exchange recipes and gossip. It always amazed me how he could float between the world of poopy diapers and fantasy football with ease. 🍼🏈
As Isabelle started going to school, Robin made sure he was involved and around. He was one of the parents you could really rely on. At Hillel Day School, he was a lunch dad and every week, he worked his shift with pride. He always said the only difference between him and the other mom’s is that he did not wear Lululemon pants and drink Starbucks.👄 He was a school favorite with the kids and moms no matter if it was in Farmington Hills, MI or Harrisburg, PA. Isabelle was always happy to have him around and seemed proud that he was very involved with her school.🖇
Although Robin was the stay at home dad, there were things he also did that were uniquely not mom-ish. The two of them would wrestle constantly, play video games and on occasion Robin was known to send Isabelle to school with clothes on backwards. With that being said, he did teach her many things that staying at home with me would never have happened. Robin and Isabelle loved learning about the world, geography, politics and sports. 🇪🇪🇸🇧I remember Isabelle went through a phase where she was obsessed with North Korea… 🇰🇵not typically on a young girls mind. For a year, she was obsessed with water buoys (I have no idea how this came about). Robin found a catalog that sold buoys and he spent hours going through the book and explaining the different makes and models with her. It was so darling and very bizarre too… he got it. ⚓️
Robin and Isabelle shared a passion for sports.. specifically basketball. They would watch games together and he would teach her the strategy behind the game. When she made her school’s basketball team starting in middle school, he was at every game and cheered her one and of course, in true Robin style, also cursed out any referees with a questionable call. When Isabelle had a bad day or disappointing game, Robin knew how to handle her and make her feel better. He was also her first call when she was sleeping out and homesick. He would field the calls and settle her down. I must admit he had a knack with me too..😛
When Isabelle learned how to drive, Robin was the one who would take her out and teach her the rules of the road. He would take her to parking lots and spin the car and do donuts and probably other questionable techniques that I probably don’t want to know about. Let’s just say, Robin was an aggressive and fast driver. 🚘 She received her license with ease and happens to be a great driver.
Isabelle left for camp last year on June 21, 2018 and I remember Robin and I fought because it was really early and I thought he would be late getting her to the airport. I suggested I drive her and he would not entertain it at all. Who knew this was going to be the last day that she was to see her father alive. He took the picture shown above at the airport and sent it to me to make sure I felt included in the camp dropoff.
Isabelle’s communication skills at camp were basically non existent. We were lucky to get a one word text from her. Robin shared with me at about week three of camp that he and Isabelle had a very nice long conversation. Apparently, Isabelle could not sleep one night and wanted to talk with her dad. As she looks back, she is not sure why she decided to call him or how she had the urge but she is so glad she did. I personally think it was a god whisper. 😇 Who would have ever known that he would be gone the following week.
So now back to the first Father’s Day we will be celebrating without Robin being with us. I remind Isabelle that she may be the luckiest girl in the world. Although Robin’s time on this earth was short, she received 16+ years of having what I would classify as the greatest dad. 👨👧He was truly there for her and she was his priority. He took his role of being a dad seriously and brushed off comments when people questioned if he should be working instead of staying home (in true confession – I asked the question too). He raised Isabelle to do the right thing, be confident and kind. He made sure her values were anchored and she did not stray with the wrong crowd. He taught her to be curious and think beyond West Bloomfield. There is a whole big world out there and to this day her passion for global affairs and politics sticks. He also gave her a sense of humor and the courage to be her own person and not follow the pack. She is truly an amazing young woman because of her dad and by the mere fact that he made her his life work.❤️❤️
Tomorrow Isabelle and I decided to have a happy day in honor of Robin. We are going to run a 5k (I hope that is fun for me), go shopping and hang out. We miss him and there is no doubt about it but we also feel extremely blessed to have him with us even if it was cut short. Isabelle knows that she had a dad that was “all in” and I know that his positive imprint will last the rest of her life.
Thank you Robin for shaping our wonderful daughter … I hope I can keep up your good work. Love You – Happy Father’s Day!!😘