Thanks, Dad

June 21, 2011 at 11:22 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

My relationship with my father has seen its fair share of ups and downs but he’s the only one I’ve got and of course I’ll always love him (even when I want to strangle him).  He’s still dealing with some health stuff and will begin chemotherapy treatment in the next few weeks, so I’ve been talking to him pretty regularly to stay in the loop.  With Father’s Day being last weekend, I spent a bit of time thinking about good ‘ole Dad and I thought it might be appropriate to highlight some instances from my childhood that will tell you what kind of father I grew up with:

  • Ways he used to wake my sister and I up for school: squirt bottle full of ice water to the face or feet, ice cubes on our back, hands on our neck after he’d been outside on cold winter mornings and by telling us that we had a snow day and could go back to sleep, only to laugh and say he was kidding and it was time to get up.
  • He would hook up the wooden sled our grandpa made to the back of his truck and drive us around the front yard – in the middle of summer.
  • He had a recording on our answering machine when I was 13 that threatened any boy who called for my sister or I with bodily harm.  Actually, I think his exact words were “I’ll hunt you down and kill you”.  Local radio stations actually called to hear it before my mom made him take it down.
  • He (with the help of many friends) built us a two-story playhouse, tree house complete with rope ladder (that had to be taken down after my sister fell and broke her arm…thanks, sis), a sandbox, a mini basketball court and a tire swing.  Our backyard was and still is awesome.
  • He used to tell me that my ice cream smelled funny.  When I bent to sniff it, he’d push it into my nose.  In my defense, he only got me twice.
  • When I came out as bisexual to him, he told me that for my entire life he’d been telling me that men were dogs and if he were a woman he’d be a lesbian so he couldn’t judge me.
  • He taught me to drive, hit a golf ball and throw a soft ball.  He drove me to practices and games and chaperoned my 6th grade class trip to the Space Camp in Huntsville, AL, where he asked a group of my classmates why they were surprised that the prepackaged astronaut food tasted like shit.  He took me to my first drive-in movie (Free Willy) and on my first trip to New Orleans.  He helped me spray paint a cardboard box black so I could dress as a TV one year for Halloween and the outline is still in my mom’s garage because he didn’t think to take us out to the grass (ironically, my sister pulled a similar stunt with her coffee table and the sidewalk at her old apartment).  My dad helped me choose every one of my cars and was always there for me when I called him freaking out because one of them did something I didn’t understand.  He taught me the importance of keeping my cars cleaned and well-cared for, which translated into having pride in the things I’ve earned.
  • He always told me I could do anything I wanted and be anything I wanted to be.  In spite of my boat-sized feet.

My dad helped give me a great childhood and I know that he’s always there for me, no matter what else may be going on.  I love him, I miss him and I hope he had a great Father’s Day.  And maybe one day I’ll manage to convince him to smell his own ice cream.

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