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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Memories of Papa

fathersOver the weekend, we had a nice family cookout with Benedetto grilling shashlik and veggies, and around the table, first memories of Papa flowed as we talked about Father’s Day.  Our children had met their father and me at older ages (both theirs and ours, lol) while living in Russian orphanages.  They knew very little about men in general, or fathers in particular, back in those days.

And with national polls indicating that Homer Simpson is America’s most admired father, I thought about how our two boys and two girls had really lucked out to not have a smart-mouthed cartoon character as their primary, male role model.

Was I cute? Sashenka asked, having devoted most of her current existence to the practice of cuteness.  Sure thatchristian-fathers-day-gifts somehow, she was falling short of her goal, she agonized over whether she also had lacked a certain cuteness in the past.

Cute? my husband hedged, teasing her.  I don’t know if I would have called you cute?


I didn’t let you kiss me,  Mashenka interrupted, conjuring up her own memories. We have pictures of it, she laughed.

Sure enough, we all recalled the photo of her at a 45-degree-angle tilt away from Papa as he kissed her cheek in his second meeting and greeting with the girls.

I let you kiss me! Sashenka triumphed.

father-daughterYes, because you wanted the box of candy I brought you, he laughed, with her readily agreeing.

When you came to see me, I asked if you had arrived to rescue me, Pasha noted.  I remember being ready to do anything, like jump out of the window at midnight!

He had been held in a very high-security internat (orphanage boarding school) with massive walls, gates, and closed-circuit security cameras everywhere.

Petya was probably cute when he was younger Sashenka started.

Still am, he inserted.

I remember the first time we called you inbetween visits to Russia.  It took us over a dozen phone calls to somehow ?????????????????????????get the right phone number, speaking with numerous Russian families as Old Russian New Year started I conjured up.

Staree novwee gohd? (Old New Year?) he asked.

Dah I replied.   When we finally got through, I told everyone what you were going to say, and sure enough, when we got you on the speaker phone and asked how you were, you said:

Normaaaalnah, he laughed.

All of our children love their father.  Their faces lighted up, simply recounting their earliest memories of him, and by reflection, of themselves.  It’s as though their lives began all over again when they met him, a strong and caring man.

Hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day!


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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Sybil says:

    Blessings to all of the Father’s of our beloved children. Many of the Father’s originally adopted mainly because that is what their spouse wanted. They then became “The Father” and stepped up to the plate, fell in love with their children and give them all that they possibly can. Some of the Father’s knew this is what they wanted and did the same. A strong Dad is right there at the top of fulfilling their child’s needs and we all know there are times it is not easy.
    My husband became a Father again after we already raised our older children well into adulthood. He didn’t need to say yes to doing this, but he did and he too is the greatest Dad to our youngest daughter.

    • avatar admin says:

      I echo your sentiments, Sybil. Usually, kids don’t ask for a lot from their dads (well, maybe ours do…!). They long for someone strong to love them, support them, and just be there for them. Doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. I think women in general have the nurturing gene, but when dads step up to the plate and are just themselves, it makes such a difference. What a tribute to your husband!

      And hats off to all single moms who bring in relatives or male family friends who are dependable and loving role models!

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