Mothers get a lot of the credit. Obviously, we are super human, super hero’s! However a good father is worth his weight in gold. There are lots of different types of dads. Hands on, hands off, stern, funny, kid at heart, worker bee, military dads, single dads doing both jobs. Lots and lots of types, but no matter what kind of dad there is, if he is a good and loving father, than he will have made a difference in his kids lives.
I have three dads I want to talk about. Three dads who will forever have a place in my heart. The first one is the first man I ever loved, my daddy.
My dad was home a lot. He worked odd jobs, (cleaning basements and attics, yard work and such), so he was more often home than not. When I would get off the bus, he was there to greet me. When I was little, I would come home to Stows Clam Chowder or maybe some Mac and Cheese. We would go out to the shed and he would tinker with something. An old jewelry box, or strange and mysterious things like carburetors. He would ask me about my day and listen while I went on and on about whatever it is that kids in elementary school do all day. We would go in and watch our shows during dinner and into the evening. Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Knight Rider, MacGyver. When I got the chicken pox he spent a week using my Rainbow Brite doll’s hair to “scratch” my back for me. When I got older, he threatened a stalker, had a talk with some male friends, and almost fought one of his own friends for thinking he was being a little too friendly with me. He let me try pot with him so that I wouldn’t do it somewhere else. I had my first drink with him. When it came time for me to have a car, he taught me how to change a tire, how to change the oil, how to change the spark plugs…he taught me how get it unstuck in the snow.
My father was always a man of little words. He is a thinker, someone who takes things in and absorbs them. People, places, experiences, he just take in and doesn’t say boo to a ghost. Even though we don’t talk much, I love him. He did the best he could with what he had. He tried very hard and he made a lot of mistakes, but he tried. Parenthood isn’t easy, its not easy raising two crazy daughters, and it isn’t easy being disabled and an alcoholic. But he tried and I know he loved us. For that, I am ever thankful for him.
The second is about the man I love and ended up marrying, my husband. (going on ten years!) My husband is also a pensive and silent man.(sensing a pattern here!) Though get him talking about something that interests him and you have a whole other story. When Cody was born I saw right away that he would be a good father. The way he looked at Cody was indescribable. Over the years, he has proven that time and again. My husband works very hard, sometimes 70 hours a week between work and side jobs. My son doesn’t play any sports or belong to any teams, but I know he would be at every game if he did. As it is, the two of them share a bond over video games that I just can’t (or don’t want) to be involved in. They use terms like “MOPG” and “camping” (believe or not this has nothing to do with tents!) I think it is great they have that. They also share a love fishing, and while neither has caught the big one yet, they have plenty of fun doing it. My son has gone to work with him and actually really enjoys it. I know my son will have memories of his dad that will take him through his life. I am beyond grateful that my son has such a great father.
The third is my father-in-law. He too is a hard worker, steady and strong. He has a dry sense of humor and can play the pun game better than anyone I know. He raised a good man, and now is teaching his grandson a thing or two. Like how to play the piano, what gorilla glue is why it is so magical and how to kayak. He can fix anything, whether that is a broken wooden whale (long story) or hurt feelings. Just don’t ask the man to help with a pomegranate salad…just don’t. He helped us out when we first moved to Long Island, and has always been there for husband, son and I. For that, I am every so appreciative of this man that I have come to call Dad.
These three men that have come in to my life have all taught me valuable lessons: About myself, my son, life, and love. Whether it is fixing something around the house, kissing a skinned knee, yelling with me during childbirth, or quietly rocking Cody to sleep, they have all, in one way or another shaped me, helped me, and loved me. For this, petty words do nothing. For them and to them I say a simple but powerful, thank you. For being the rocks that held things together and for being the soft touch when things fell apart. Thank you.