It’s (late) Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all my fathers.
I have had a hard time getting started today, since it seems like a big thing this year. First, since I didn’t go all crazy over my mother, I don’t want her to be hurt if I go crazy on my Dad. Then there is the issue of praising Phil, as the father of my children, so I am just going to do my best, and ask for understanding and tolerance.
When I started traveling more after having the girls, I started having little anxiety attacks every time I would leave. I finally figured out that I was freaking out that if my plane went down in flames, that they would not remember me and wouldn’t know how much I loved them. I have journals for them, that talk about what they are doing day to day, but it’s not really advice and love talk. So I sat down and wrote both of them letters to be opened in the event of my demise, for them to open when they are 18.
But I am now thinking that I don’t need to limit my letters to my kids – that maybe I need to also be concerned about telling the other people I love how I feel about them, in case of their demise, not just mine. Really, why not tell people that stuff? I have been so glad to have the last month with my Dad, mostly telling him the things you don’t tell people when all is right with the world.
So I will start my letters to my loved ones with a short letter I send to my Dad.
Dad – How lucky am I? I am so glad to have a father who taught me so many things that are central to my personality and character. My work ethic, my integrity and most importantly, my sense of humor, are all things in me that I recognize as growing from those same things in you. I am so glad for all that, and these things too:
- I am glad you let me help in the basement. I love that I know how to drywall and spackle, but my favorite lesson was sticking my arms into the big garbage pail of ceiling popcorn. I loved that job.
- I am glad you made me fix the car. When I told you I wanted to learn to fix the car (thinking of basic maintenance, like replacing the fan belt with panty hose because it sounded real glamorous), you woke me up early mornings to pound out the front fender and do body work on the car after it was totaled.
- I am glad you took us on road trips, and camping, and made us work in the yard.
- I am glad I know how to deal with a leaky toilet. I know that by the time you got to me you just couldn’t take it anymore. That, and I think I deserved some punishment for that time I flushed while you were working on the plumbing in the crawlspace. The vision of you running upstairs screaming at me with toilet paper streaming behind you will never leave me. And if I am making that up, don’t correct me.
- In spite of the fact that I didn’t always appreciate your humor then, I love all the wacky things you did, and that you liberally applied humor and sarcasm to life’s best and worst times.
- I love how hard you always worked. You had several different jobs, and I know I learned from how much you put into each of them. I don’t ever remember hearing you complain.
- I love that you hated that loser I dated. He was bad news.
- I love that when Frank the cat ran away last year that you drove around my neighborhood looking for him, and that even though I was 36, that you tried to tell me someone else just took him in.
- I love that you carry candy hearts or treats in your pocket to give to my girls any time you stop by, and that sometimes you just ride up on your Harley, just in case we’re home.
- I love that you have been all over, and that you bring my kids the coolest things when you come back. They know more geography than I did in high school, because you bring it to them.
And I guess, I just love you. Thanks for being my Dad.