I was one of those lucky kids who had a great but different relationship with each of my parents. My Mom was the smart and serious and responsible one and my Dad was fun loving and street smart and sometimes not so responsible.
My Mom was the disciplinarian in our family for sure and when I was bad (which of course was hardly ever) I would wait for my dad to get home from work at the street corner to tell him my side of the story first. I would rehearse exactly what I would say to my black cocker spaniel, Tar, and he would give me the OK or the sad eyed look that said, “He ‘ll never buy it”. I feared that look because it meant more work on my part
My Dad was a hard worker as was my Mom but I have to say there was nothing better than the end of a day when my Dad was finally home from work. I would start looking at the clock at about 4 PM and counting the minutes until he would walk in the door and give me the biggest hug of my life.
My Dad was a salesman and he worked Monday through Saturday so Sunday was our day. Daddy was an early morning person and we had a ritual of going out to breakfast every Sunday after Sunday School. We had a favorite spot or two—a local deli where everyone knew each other was our favorite spot. We could be there for hours as my Dad chatted with his friends and my sister and I read the Sunday comics. My Dad would always introduce us to his friends as “his favorite girls” and we beamed. I have to admit I always liked it better when my sister didn’t get up early enough and so it was just me and my Dad. Lots of times our dog was with us and we would take him for a treat, a swim in the nearby ocean. He loved it!! Sometimes we would take a special drive all the way to Miami Beach to Pumpernick’s or the Rascal House restaurant and wait in line with the crowds. These were famous Miami places and so during tourist season it was VERY crowded. By the time we got home, Mom was awake and working on a project or on the phone with a friend and we would all be anxious to tell her what we did, who we saw and how far out Tar swam this time.
By this time our neighbors, the Hales, were home from church and we might all gather for some basketball and then maybe a neighborhood BBQ in the late afternoon. These were simple pleasures but meaningful rituals. Maybe not the most exciting things kids have ever done with their parents but there was fun in the predictable-ness of it. I knew that every Sunday my Dad would be home and we would be the center of his attention and have some fun.
I mentioned that my Dad was not always the most responsible. He had a few bad habits to be sure but to me he was my knight in shining armor. My Mom worried that I had my Dad on too high of a pedestal and that it was unrealistic. You might be reading this and thinking what an odd thing for a mother to say but it wasn’t and it was some of her best advice especially as I got older and it helped me keep my love for my Dad in tact and in perspective.
My Dad was also a gadget addict. We were always the first to have the latest gadget—whatever the hot item of the time was. In fact, my Dad had an office off the garage that was completely wired—a 60’s version of today’s hi tech room! I would sit in his big recliner and he would give me the headsets to wear while he worked and I was in heaven—being near my Dad and also listening to my favorite music. My Dad would be proud of my techi-ness today—I too have to have the latest gizmo though today they are called I- something!! My Dad didn’t teach me how to do wiring but he did teach me to be curious and always have a sense of wonderment about how things are made or how they work. He didn’t have to lecture me or speak specifically about each technical point but by being together I learned so much….just listening, just loving my dad!
My Dad was a salesman extraordinaire and wherever he went he always had a funny joke and a small gift for his clients. He never forgot someone’s birthday or anniversary and I tried to incorporate that same philosophy into my life and my work. It is because of my Dad that we always have something fun to give our Guests and we celebrate our stuffed animals’ birthdays.
My Dad passed away at 89 a few years ago after living a full life. To his dying day I was a Daddy’s girl and I knew it. My Dad always made me feel special and loved. W e shared secrets and jokes. We didn’t agree on everything but we did agree on how important a father’s love is for his daughter and vice versa. It wasn’t the big things that made that known—it was the little things, the family rituals and simple things we did that reinforced what matters in life—LOVE!!
Happy Father’s Day Daddy—I know you are looking down on me everyday. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there that love their kids and hug a lot!!
Hugs to all,