Sunday, June 16, 2013
He made a bed for my dolls and one for my sister's dolls. He assembled our toys (he was a very good sport) and fixed things around the house. He played catch with my sister and would argue politics with me (look, we are kind of an odd family sometimes). He gardened with my mother (he still has some tomato plants he grows) and worked hard, but never let his family take second place.
Being a father was his job. What he did for work was just how he paid the bills; he identified as a father. He was never going to be a company man, though he worked hard and did well. He was never going to play politics and didn't care about getting the corner office. He cared about us. What mattered to him was his family--his wife, his kids, and our well-being. He was never too busy for us. He didn't assume that because he was home from work that he just could sit down and watch TV and not do anything. He was a father, and that meant that he was raising us kids along with our mother.
When he was growing up, all of the kids had to take turns making dinner and doing chores around the house. He never thought of certain things being beneath him--growing up, it was typical to see him making meals, doing dishes, cleaning, etc. He was never one to assert that he was the MAN of the house and the boss of everything--the family was run more by an oligarchy--he and my mother together.
When I was a kid, he took me and my sister fishing. I didn't catch anything, but I loved fishing with him. We snacked on string beans from the garden and hoped for a fish to get hooked. We fed a lot of sunfish a lot of worms.
He read to us. He encouraged us. He listened--and still listens--to us.
He is funny. He loves to joke around. He has a twisted sense of humor (like his daughter, I suppose). He loves his grandchildren and dotes on them.
He was and is a great Dad.
Happy Father's Day, Dad! And to all of the fathers reading this, Happy Father's Day to you, too.