It was just Father’s Day a couple weeks ago. On the spur of the moment we ended up running over to scoop up my dad (30 miles) and whisking him off to see some of my kids’ new homes two hours away. He thought it was great fun since we took the convertible. I told him to bring sunglasses and a comb. The only question he asked was “When are you coming home?” When I told him we’d be back that night, he was in.
I hope I still have that spark of spontaneity when *I’m* 87.
He’s always been a bit of a traveler. Last winter he went to Wakiki Beach for the eighteenth time, this time via Palm Springs. We recently returned from a family trip to North Carolina where my dad, five siblings and my family rented beach houses for a week. He doesn’t enjoy the security hassle (with three artificial body parts, the man’s a testament to titanium) but he likes *being there*. And always, always being with family is the biggest thing with him.
That’s one of his oft-repeated sayings, as a matter of fact. ”It’s family that’s important. If not for family and friends, what else is there?” Indeed.
He had other sayings, of course Didn’t everyone’s dad?
Do we need to heat the whole outdoors?
Do you need every light on in the house?
Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know.
He’s got champagne tastes on a beer appetite.
Fifteen dollars? Why, I’ve never paid fifteen dollars for a shirt in my life! (Um, dad…isn’t that because you’ve *never* gone shopping???)
Yep, I learned all those truisms from my dad. But I learned a lot more important things, as well. I learned that he may blow a gasket if one of us talked back or forgot to do our chores, but when it came to the big things, he was always calm. I was never afraid to call home and tell him I’d been in an accident and when I did he never asked about the car. (Yes, it happened more than once!) He only ever asked if I was okay. After the worst one when I landed in ER, one of the doctors was exceedingly rude to me. When my dad heard about it he called up the doctor to share his opinion with him <g> and my college-education, professional father ended up inviting the MD to solve things physically
Because when it came to his kids he’d go to the mat for us, right or wrong. We’ve always known we could count on him, always knew he’d support us. And I wonder, as parents, if there’s anything more we could hope that *our* children can say about us?
What were your dad’s sayings? Do you ever catch yourself repeating them to your kids? What’s the most important thing your dad taught you?