In honor of Father's Day I thought I would give some props to the two great dads in my life. My dad and my husband.
Dad today. Husband tomorrow.
My dad rocks and I am not just saying that because I want to remain the favorite.
I think my dad did a great job at a time when men might have been confused about what exactly was expected of them as dads.
He worked many hours since he and my mom made the decision that she should stay at home with us. I know now that was a sacrifice. How much easier it would have been for him to let Mom work. Then he could have relaxed some and not had the sole responsibility of earning money. In my mind I know Dad was at work most of the time, but in my heart I remember spending time with him.
I remember wedging both of our butts into that cracked leather recliner underneath a fake fur blanket. Dad would smoke and drink iced tea while I ate Frosted Mini Wheats from the box. I remember watching the ball game, or later The Cosby Show.
I remember going to the grocery store a couple of times a week and never coming back with just what was on the list. Dad would always reward me if I drove the shopping cart well by letting me drive home. He would stick his head out the window and holler, "Look out!" to anyone walking down the street. (Driving lessons....an entirely different post.)
Many dads probably don't know what to do with their pre teen daughters. My dad may not have KNOWN what to do either, but what he did do was invaluable to me. He spent time with me. Really what can you give a person that is more valuable than time?
He is an outdoors type of guy, so he did outdoor things with me when I was a kid. He was a fisherman: he took me fishing. He was a hunter; he took me hunting. He taught me archery just like he did my brothers. He showed me how to reload shotgun shells. He played catch with me and took me to ball games.
Let's face it I never became amazingly proficient at any of those things. (Well I can load a pretty mean shotgun shell.) That was never the point. Dad was never disappointed I didn't clean my own fish, or have any interest in shooting a deer. We had fun. We talked about important stuff. We talked about not important stuff. We ate Snickers and pistachios and drank Coke. I learned to talk to a man. I learned I was important. There aren't very many better ways to learn those things.
I am still close to my Dad. He lives only thirty minutes away. I see him almost every week. He has some good Dad skills, but it doesn't even compare to his Grampa skills. My kids think he hung the moon. When Tanner was two we drove up to my folks' house and when Tanner didn't see his truck in the driveway he crossed his little arms and announced, "If Grampa is not here, I am not gettin' out!"He and Ty seem to have a special bond as well. I am so glad my dad is there for Ty. He is especially outdoorsy. I wouldn't have had the time or the knowledge to expose Ty to all the hunting and fishing he has enjoyed with my dad. I know too that while they are out hunting or fishing something important is happening. They are eating Snickers and drinking Cokes. And talking. About important stuff. About not important stuff. I'll never understand the bond between a boy and his grampa. Even for a boy who has a dad and a step dad in his life it seems to be an important relationship. Again my dad is giving Ty his time. I think many dads could learn something from that.
Thanks Dad for the great father you were/are. And Thanks for the fun, caring, wise Grampa you are!
Happy Father's Day!