Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day (early)

Most of the time, I use this blog to bitch, vent, amuse. Today, shaking it up just a bit. Today I want to write about someone I am grateful for. This past Monday was my dad's birthday. He's 68 now. This year, I will be half his age. This will be the only time in our lives that this will happen. I am so incredibly grateful for my dad. Something most of you do not know. My dad is technically not my father. Not biologically. He's my step-dad, but to me, he's dad, father, everything. My dad is a master pool player. He runs a league or two, and is always being asked to play with other people. He even took the time to teach me how to play properly, so I wouldn't make an ass out of myself at the pool hall. My dad is father to seven incredibly different children. Each and every one of us will tell you that we are dad's favorite, and believe that with our whole heart. He's that good at making each one of us feel special. My dad is an engineer. Early in his life he wanted to be a teacher. Life took him in a different direction. He is smart, creative, and always learning. A typical dinner while we were growing up would involve dad saying "look it up in the dictionary", and we did, in the middle of dinner. He took pride in everything we learned, and I think he learned from us and still does. My dad is a jokester. During my pre-teen years VonSis and I were watching the horribly bad horror movie "The Stepfather". Unbeknownst to us, dad had caught a few scenes and was amused by the premise of the murderous step-father. During a really quiet, dark part of the movie dad came up behind us with a chainsaw and yelled "What are you two doing!?!?!?" It scared the shit out of us. He thought it was hilarious. He still does. Tell that story and he will grin and chuckle. He knows 400 jokes, and can deadpan a punchline like no one I know. My friends love my dad. They think he's cool. I realize that they are right. There's not a party or bbq that I throw that I don't invite my parents. My dad has opinions. Strong ones I'm sure. But he's raised us in the 'whatever doesn't kill ya makes you stronger' way. Every decision I make on my own. He supports and praises the good ones, and is there to pick me up and brush the dust off me after the not so good ones. He raised us and sent us on our way, to find our own path - even when that path is up-hill and covered in brambles. I don't remember exactly when I realized that my dad sees me as an adult. I'm tearing up just thinking about when I saw that our relationship had shifted. We have real and actual conversations. We debate sometimes. He will smile, yet defend his opinion. Even though he doesn't agree with mine, he's smiling because I have one, and it's well formed. We talk about the Cubs. Just last night he was working on a crossword puzzle. VonMom said "Ask Von, she knows a lot of things." Dad didn't at first, but then "What's this? What's that?" and I knew the answers. It was a small moment, but I was so happy because he asked me, confident that I 'know things'. My dad is one of my most favorite people. I keep trying to impress him, even though I know he needs no convincing that I'm pretty awesome. I think he knows he raised me right. Out of his seven kids, I'm the only one who smoked. When I quit, he was so proud. He still tells me how proud he is of that. It's a great motivator to stay quit. I'm also the only one with tattoos. I was terrified to show him them. I remember right after I got my first one (which I was hiding), a friend of mine got one and my dad found out. He said "NO child of mine living under my roof will ever have a tattoo!" while I was sitting there hiding my own still oozing first tattoo. When I finally showed him, he shrugged. He looked at one and said "I really like that one! That's cool!" Now, every time he sees it he says "Oh yeah, I like that one!" I was the problem child, I still might be. But I know he loves me. He tells me that he does, and he shows me that he does. I know deep down that he has always been my father, and I also happen to know that I am his favorite. :)


Adorable Girlfriend said...

Happy Father's Day! Your dad sounds amazing.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful Post VON

Shannon Erin said...

I love your dad. He's so adorable and awesome. You are one lucky lady.