Monday, June 18, 2007

for the papas everywhere

For those of you who know me, this isn't a huge surprise: if I were to be a stereotyped kid, I might be a daddy's girl. Of course, we are by no means a stereotypical family (my mother changes the flat tires and my father does the vacuuming and laundry) (my father would scoff at having to give K "permission" to marry me, and his giving me away down the aisle is less about giving then about my loving--and his loving), but I do love my father a great deal. He's an adorable professor who lacks a significant amount of common sense (most of the time it's endearing) and more often then not, a phenomenal amount of patience.

When I was little, I remember: the wings his hair made when he let the hair cut get way too long, the way he swayed when he sang lullabies and played the guitar, his always-willingness to play Monopoly with me (or some other board game that never ends), the clackety sound of the typewriter as he transcribed tapes (working on his never ending Ph.D), the way he'd read to me when I was small, and when I was a little bigger, the way I'd read to him (books by Roald Dahl, and we'd discuss them afterwards), the awful stick shift he drove and how I missed it when it was gone, the way he'd burst out into musical tunes when we'd go out to eat (embarrassing us all).

Now that I'm older, I think of: how he will talk to me for an entire hour on my now-ended commute from This High School to home and about anything I wanted (the musical, the kids, wedding plans, my feelings or frustrations about K, what the dogs did this time), his own music passion and how that has expanded into a second (more active) group, his own publishing efforts (be it academic or otherwise), his ability to help you at a moment's notice (except when you get a flat tire), how his love for his daughters is big and wide and deep and he doesn't have to say it for us to know it, how I'm not so embarrassed by him any more (no, Dad, that was not a challenge) and how he will be singing a song he wrote at my wedding ceremony, one of the things I look forward to the most about that day.

Being a father so often seems to mean getting relegated to second best, as far as parenting goes. It is the mother who offers the quick comfort, the clean up, the everyday. This wasn't so true in my own childhood, at least to my memory, and the way my parents tell the story. I was lucky enough to have a parenting team in those early years--a father who wanted to scoop me up, plop me into his furry orange guitar case and sing me songs, a father who wanted to boogie in the kitchen and had no shame doing so, a father who wanted to give the world to his daughters (and, to the best of my knowledge, never regretted that we weren't boys, and I believe this). Here is a man who can be proud of you with the best of them, who can say "Congratulations!" and make you getting that job (or getting engaged, or sending something out for publication consideration) was done just for him and his pleasure--so happy he is for your successes.

And I'm proud of him. Proud of the example he sets and the good things I glean from him. I hope to be a more patient person as I grow older, someone who can love another in such a big way that it fills you up.

I wish I had snuck a photograph of K and his father this weekend--I told his mother how I am finding the similarities between the two incredible and striking. They have this goofy stubborn determination, this generosity, this kindness, and this laid back nature that I deeply appreciate. I can tell they love each other very much, and I have said this before: I am glad to be marrying into such a family.

One last note before I stumble up to bed (so many pictures to share tomorrow... so many puppies): note the picture above. Black and tan, we should call the crew. These are our dogs with K's family's dogs... In order, in the picture: Sassy (a lab mix), Chance (a lab mastiff), Zephyr (lab mix), and Penelope (golden retriever). I am especially amused by this picture because Chance, who, at three years old, is just recovering from two surgeries and hydro-therapy and cannot run (which, as K's parents pointed out, is incredibly ridiculous as he is a dog), and Zephyr, the little devil that he is, wanted to play. Chance is letting Zephyr know what he thinks about that as K tries to restrain the 140 pound dog. I love the expression on Zephyr's face. The four had a fabulous time this weekend, and I look forward to boring all of you with my action shots! :)


1 comment:

lizardek said...

aaaah, that was lovely! :) I miss my dad!!