Why I’m a crappy daughter

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.

I could probably rock a wool poly blend 3 piece suit, too. I mean, I already have a mohawk.

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.

We have 8,372 photos just like this.

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.

He talked the captain of an ocean liner into letting us fly this off the back of the ship. While under way.  In international waters.  He sort of looks like a pirate in this photo, actually.

Embarrassing people (particularly your children) in public is a fantastic form of entertainment.

My 21st birthday. Dad arranged for a giant pink gorilla to show up at the public beach where I worked and sing to me. Best public humiliation ever. Also, BEST HAIR EVER (him, not me).

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).

Please note how thoroughly amused my father seems to be at what is clearly my imminent demise at the unhinged jaws of a giant African HUMAN EATING SNAKE.

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).

This may look like an adorable candid photo of a child with a goofy hat on her head, but it’s actually a calculated photo shoot that required me to sit on a rock for approximately 17 hours.

That traditions matter.

He read me The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve, even through my college years, even if it was while I was sleeping or meant leaving a voice mail. (And no, Niki, that is not a new carpet)

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.

It’s pretty clear that we are firm believers in absurd hats in my family. And for those of you who want to mock my shirt, this is 1993. That makes it OK.

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.)

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9 Responses to Why I’m a crappy daughter

  1. iwannanewbag says:

    I adore the pink gorilla

  2. Babette says:

    I adore the pink gorilla stunt.

  3. Dee Rogersd says:

    I think mastering the fine art of the inside voice is not only highly overrated , it just wouldn’t look so good on you. Play to your strengths “VIVA la outside voice!” PS I like my hot dogs burnt also; I thought I was the only one.

  4. Emily says:

    Aww, E, that made me cry! xo

  5. srcohn says:

    Great post Erin. I know how old you are so why does that baby picture look like it was taken in 1958???

  6. bethzare says:

    Now Jim has to figure out how to comment so he can keep up with the Joanses. Oh, I am so witty. No wonder your dad likes me.

  7. lovemylabs says:

    I love love love this post. Your dad sounds so much like mine that I bet they would have been fast friends. I only wish I had been as talented at articulating my love and all the reasons for it. What a great Dad’s Day gift!

  8. When you said you talk too much and have no inside voice i was certain you were really talking about me! I often get ‘use your inside voice meg’ Love the photo of you in the notre dame hat. Very cute.

  9. Emily Nelson says:

    Golly I miss you……and the visits frome your crazy parents at Talmar Wood 😉 Sweet article my dear.

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