For you Dad on Father’s Day – sharing some wisdom and memories

15 Jun

On May 18, 1980 my dad’s life was forever changed. He was now a father.

My parents were very young when they had me (Dad barely 20, Mom barely 22) and were not totally prepared for a baby. But they had one. Me. Children do not come with handbooks or owners manuals. You kind of wing it. And wing it my parents did. They were not always the best parents, and did not always set the best of examples. But it is from their mistakes, stumblings, and shortcomings that I learned how to be me. They were growing up while I was. They didn’t set some high expectation of who I should be, rather taught me how to make mistakes, dust yourself off and move on. To learn from your errors. To not be so worried of what others would think if you failed at something, because what mattered was that you even tried. It has taken me a long time to see that, to not worry about not having the perfect childhood and parents because the parents I have and the childhood I had helped me to be ME. Change any part of that dynamic and I’d be a different version of myself. And I like the me that I am today. I am proud of how I turned out. My dad is stubborn, charming, vain, charismatic, sarcastic & blunt to name a few. I have all of his best qualities, and some of his worst.

What I wanted to tell you all is to love your parents. Tell them you love them. When they piss you off, tell them that too. They are going to piss you off. It is part of their job description, or so mine have told me. Sometimes they’ll walk all over you or make it feel like they are taking advantage of you. They may or may not be doing that. Tell them. Don’t expect them to be mind readers. Sometimes they don’t realize they are making ridiculous requests. Sometimes they forget that you work, or have your own life or your own shit going on. Just tell them. Because talking is always better than being silently pissed. But also remember that every once in a while in your busy life, you do have to make time for them. They aren’t getting any younger. You don’t know how much time you have with those that you love. Life is short and unexpected – just ask my parents – I was not a planned baby. Ask my sister and I – we thought we had a lot more time with our mom, at least another 20 years. Life is not a sitcom.  It is ugly, complicated, messy. But it is also beautiful, amazing, and only as good as you want it to be. With my mom’s unexpected departure from this earthly plain, all I have left is my dad (parent wise). So I find myself holding on to him a little tighter (he makes it kinda difficult living in Las Vegas and all, but I do my best). This Father’s Day, I won’t get to spend the day with my dad. He’ll spend his day doing things that he loves, like golfing, having a beer, and then wrapping up the day poolside soaking up some Vegas heat. But I’ll talk to him and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Tell him I love him. And I’ll spend the day with fond memories of him from my childhood – him letting me play in the dirt/clay pile until I was so filthy my mom had to strip me down and hose me off before carrying me to the shower. Giving me nails and a hammer so that I could craft animals from scraps of wood while he was doing another remodeling project on our house. Pitching me a softball in the back yard so I could practice my catching and hitting skills. I’ll remember the first time I rode a bike without training wheels and how he had let go without telling me until I was at the very end of the alley, and how psyched I was to be a “big girl”. I’ll remember him telling my mom not to worry because I liked doing boy things, that I was just being a kid. It would be ok. I’ll remember him getting all misty eyed giving me away on my wedding day, and outright crying during our father/daughter dance (he will deny both until the end of time! But I saw and heard…I was there after all!) And I will look forward to the memories we’ll make as father and daughter in the future.

To those dad’s reading this, happy father’s day. Kiss your kids. To those with dad’s reading this, tell them you love them. Even if they aren’t here to hear you anymore, say it out loud. I tell my mom all the time.

To my Dad – Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for helping me to become ME. You are more than half of my DNA. You are the Father I needed so that I could be the best me possible. I love you daddy.

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One Response to “For you Dad on Father’s Day – sharing some wisdom and memories”

  1. thefoodandwinehedonist June 15, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    What an awesome post

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