Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Belated Father's Day Shout Out

Although my schedule hasn't allowed for any creative writing time over the last week or so, I still wanted to make sure that I made time to stop, slow down, and give much love and credit to all the dads out there. Especially mine. Where does one even start when it comes to describing and thanking dads for all they do?

I can only base my breadth and width of "dad knowledge" based on what I have seen lived out by those dads in my life, and whether it's been my dad, grandpas, father in law or now the Hubs as he prepares to be a dad, I've been surrounded by strong examples of what fatherly love should and does look like.

My dad:
  • Knew how to manage family time and a career and was always home for dinner and homework. Being an Executive Director of a company can keep some men at their desk more than at their own dinner table, but my dad made family time a priority. Eating as a family back then didn't feel so treasured as I was choking down a tuna noodle casserole, but as an adult who watches so many people pull 12-14 hour work days, I know that choices were probably involved and I'm grateful we, his kids and wife, won out on those decisions.
  • Always had a joke. Some were appropriate and some were questionable (which I could gauge even at a young age based on an eye roll or a "Sscccooootttttt" from my mom), but you could always count on him for a laugh over dinner.
  • Valiantly tried to give good, sound break-up advice when I was broken hearted and looking for answers. Sometimes his advice fell a little short, like the time he compared the ending of my 2 year relationship to the University of Illinois losing a basketball game after a long standing winning streak, but the point is that he tried. Granted I immediately asked him to "just put mom on the phone" when he told me "imagine how those guys on the U of I team must feel right about now", but again, he tried and I can look back and respect the effort.
  • Taught me to get up more times than you fall down.
  • Made me go to college when all I wanted to do was continue skating and tour with Disney on Ice. After watching some of my skater friends retire from shows later in life and starting the college journey in their 30's, I'm so grateful that college was mandatory for us and skating after college was always an option.
  • Gives great advice and is my go-to for all things career and professional growth.
  • Loved us and wasn't afraid to show his love for us. There was nothing held back and nothing forced. He said it and showed it, and I felt it and believed it.
  • Woke us up playing an imaginary bugle more times than I can count. I hated it at the time, but little things like that are what sets each dad apart. Even if it was ridiculously annoying as a middle schooler and teenager.
  • Simply is the best. I'm not saying he's better than your dad, cause they're all great, but mine's pretty hard to beat. I mean, is your dad skilled in the imaginary bugle? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Dad, thanks for always being there for us whether we were 2, 12 or 35. You made time for us, loved us unconditionally even when we probably made you want to rip your or our hair out, and did it all with a sense of humor or a U of I team analogy. You didn't put up with our crap for long which taught us to straighten up, respect our elders, and follow the rules as adults. I share a of love of music with you thanks to hours spent listening to your records, some of which I own now and play while I'm cleaning the house. Although I'm a girly girl, I can find humor in "natural gases" with the best of them, and I don't take myself too seriously (at least I try not to). And when I fall down, or I see someone around me fall down, I try to make sure that we all get up just one more time.

You're the best and if I could line up all the dads in the world, I'd pick you every time. Happy Belated Father's Day!

Love your,
Sweet Baboo


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