16 June, 2013

It's Father's Day

I went out to lunch today with my usual lunch bunch. Not a father (or mother) in the bunch. We are those people of middle age who have never had any children, and many of us no longer have fathers. We still had a good time and said a Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. The good dads, the bad ones, the one who did the best they could.

My Dad was 27 when I was born. He was working on his PhD at Purdue. They were young and on the broke side; my first bedroom was the closet in his and Mom's bedroom. Looking at pictures of him when I was little, he looks so young for the responsibility of a family.

Doyce was kind of busy with school, and then work and sports and the Boy Scouts when I was really little. But by the time I was getting ready for school, he came into his prime as a father. He was the perfect Dad to teach you the things every kid needs to learn. How to tie your shoes, to ride a bike, to serve a volleyball, and do the times-tables. He took us fishing - and then kicked us out of the boat when our laughter "scared the fish away."

He took us to more Civil War battlefields and monuments than Younger Me wanted to know about. He took me to the library. My mother was the one who read stories to us, but when I was old enough to look for my own books, the example of him reading and loving the library helped me develop my own reading habits.

He is a sports loving man who loved to play, loved to win, and will watch almost any sport just for the fun of it. He pops popcorn almost every night for an evening snack. He has an offbeat sense of humor, that I think I inhererited a lot of. 

When I started driving, he showed me how to change a tire and check the oil. He picked me up when I ran out of gas, and didn't even bother fussing at me.

We didn't (and don't) always understand each other. I am more impulsive and emotional than he is and we are very different. Sometimes I was mad at him and thought he was "mean," (me learning math was not fun for either of us.) But he is my Dad, the first man I ever loved. He's a good man, husband, and father. I love his sense of humor, his unabashed enthusiam for the things he enjoys. I love the fact that when he was getting ready to retire from a job he loved, he learned to fly and bought the plane he's always wanted to have. He put those dreams on hold to raise a family, but got back to them when the time is right.  I want to be that kind of person too...I will defer some dreams, but not give up the important ones.

Thanks for everything Dad. I love you.

My two favorite guys. Thomas and Dad.

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