So, I wrote a Mother’s Day post for my mom that she loved. She even figured out how to comment on it (and in the process outted my totally embarrassing childhood nickname to
the seven people who regularly read this blog the entire inter webs). Because I’m a pleaser, I promised my dad an equally sentimental tribute for Father’s Day, then proceeded to go away for the weekend and write zilch. I suck. Here’s what I should have written on Sunday…
I am equal parts my parents in very different ways. I look like an overfed clone of my mother, but my personality is a James Joseph reproduction. I’ve learned so much from him, but the older I get the more I become him. I am gregarious, I have my own special brand of crazy and I’m not ashamed to let it show. I talk too much and have not mastered the fine art of the inside voice. I almost never pay retail for anything – there is always a bargain to be had if you’re willing to look for it. I’m proud of all of that and so much more, because it came from him.
A smattering of things I’ve learned from my dad (and learned about myself because he is my dad):
I can be incredibly patient when it matters and incredibly impatient when I’m in the car.
From him I learned to ride a bike and love the water.
That Brooklyn is a way of life, not a borough.
When life knocks you on your ass you have two choices: give up or get up. He always chose the latter even when I’m sure there were times he would have liked to stay on the ground and wait it out. And he always did it for his family. I hope someday I can say I had that strength.
How to talk people who know better into almost anything.
Embarrassing people (particularly your children) in public is a fantastic form of entertainment.
I learned to ‘go for it’ (an inside joke involving several canoes, class 3 rapids, and one broken finger).
A love of animals (big, small, and creepy crawly) and fondness for burnt hot dogs (those don’t go together at all, I just thought of them at the exact same time).
Just because someone can’t always be there doesn’t mean they’re not always thinking of you. And sometimes it’s harder for the person missing it.
A love of photography (and that the amount of time it takes to set up the perfect shot is inversely proportional to the amount of energy your child has).
That traditions matter.
Haughty disdain. And a love of Notre Dame football.
Coffee is the nectar of the gods and should be consumed frequently and with complete disregard to appropriate human sleep patterns.
Integrity, honesty, a willingness to talk to strangers about anything, and a great smile will open doors or kill several hours stranded in an airport half way around the world, whichever you need at the moment.
My father taught me that your parents can be your friends too, that trust goes both ways, and to laugh out loud and not give a crap who’s watching – if you’re having fun, you’re doing something right. He’s a father, a husband, a salesman, a photographer, a performer, and a complete goofball, and he somehow manages to be remarkable at all of those jobs and so much more.
And I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Happy (belated) Father’s Day, dad.
(clearly one thing you didn’t teach me was punctuality. So this being late is pretty much your fault. I forgive you.)