A little girl at the wedding afterwards asked her mother why the bride changed her mind. What do you mean? responded her mother. Well, she went down the aisle with one man, and came back with another. ~ Unknown
by Pete Ferguson
About a year ago my wife gave me a sanctuary within our home – she converted the family office into a man cave just for me. She went out and bought the furnishings, framed pictures in dark brown and furnished the room in nice manly colors and textures.
The agreement we have is that I can dump my stuff and shut the door. I don’t have to have it tidy, just presentableThe agreement we have is that I can dump my stuff and shut the door. I don’t have to have it tidy, just presentable as it is on the main level and having the door open allows for additional natural light for the music room. It is a bit of a consolation prize for when I gave up my previous den – the home theater – to Steph’s preschool.
The original intention is for this room to be the one place that is mine in the entire house where we share square footage with five kids, six instruments, and lots of female decorations and entrappings. When I need a time out, I can go into my cave, close the door, and have a break for a few moments. It is like a get out of jail free card in Monopoly – I don’t get many and I have to use them sparingly for it to be fair to all involved.
It has been fantastic, and it is where the majority of my writing and reading is done in the late and early hours of the day while the rest of the house is still sleeping.
What I have found, however, is that the rest of family has moved in when I am not around. Legos from Miles are a regular find when I come home from work, Mark seems to think my desk is his desk and it is usually a complete mess.
And then ever so subtly several weeks ago, I noticed three tiaras atop a stack of books.
At first I was a bit annoyed.
I had envisioned that this room was the one sterilized “Me Zone.” But I left them there as a subtle reminder that one of my greatest responsibilities is to raise three women who will have great self confidence and not have to go seeking for male validation outside of the home.
Now I get a great kick out of knowing that the kids miss me when I’m gone and that they want a piece of my man cave. When I am gone for several days, they will congregate within and that is how they connect with me.
Family life is an interesting balance of enough “me time” to continue my personal growth and development and time that needs to be donated to serve others and focus on their growth and development.
The modern man isn’t the guy who disappears on a horse into the Wild West for months at a time to earn enough money for the family to survive. The modern man has to be engaged in what is going on around him, sacrifice time, money, and attention to the needs of others.
One day in the not so distant future I will sit in this man cave alone during the day. The house will be silent and I will long for the pitter patter of tiny footsteps and hope that the grandchildren will soon come and mess up my man cave. For now I’m living the dream and enjoying every moment of it!
“…I’ve made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I’ve seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who’s not very cute – her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn’t grow right, and she’s got on thick glasses – but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she’s a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women – to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake – allof those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us…” ~ Adriana Trigiani, Big Stone Gap