Monday, September 03, 2012

The gig

Its a tough gig being a Dad.

Here's my Dad and my older sister on her Baptismal day.

I never really knew how tough it was for Dads until I had Boy. Until now.

My Dad. He was my main care giver as a young child. Although, I know Mum would've loved to play that role. Financially, it was better for her to maintain full time work. This meant, I spent some days at his feet while he worked at Small Engine Services and some days at Nan's house (fascinated by the silver dial that would turn her T.V on with a pop) 

Later, I would spend my days going from school to school as he sold books. Playing in the playground while students studied.

Even later, I would spend my days going from house to house, chatting to the little old ladies he mowed lawns for and drinking lemonade in the shade while I watched him work.

No matter where he was, no matter what he was doing. I loved to spend time with my Dad.

He would call me rabbit and tell me I had a mind like a steel trap. 

He would smell like grass and grease and sweat and work.

He was kind and gentle and had the best belly laugh I had ever heard (until I heard Boy belly laugh I thought I would never hear something which gave me so much joy again.)

I thought this, because when I was 13- A few weeks before my grade 8 year of high school was to start- I woke up one morning to a terrible commotion.

Mum. She had that tone in her voice. The one that tells me something is wrong. I lay there. Still as a stone in my bed. While I listened as she made phone calls and then the ambulance people arrived.

It seemed like forever before she came in. And I knew, I knew he had gone from the way she looked at me. Before she even spoke.

At 13 I buried my father. It is a terrible tragedy no matter what your age when you loose a parent. But at such a tender age I had to experience those feelings of grief and disillusionment.

I had relied so heavily on the infectious happiness and energy that Dad had and now I was on a journey to find that happiness on my own. He had made it look so easy.

Slowly overtime I forgot what the prickles on his face felt like or the sound of his lips smacking together puckering up for a wet kiss.

I forgot about the times he forgot to pick me up from school, or the times he was grumpy. Because generally, consistently - he was a kind, caring, involved father.

But what I don't have trouble remembering. Is the way he made me feel. How he made me feel like I was a princess. Like I was important and loved. How he believed in me.

Being a Dad is a tough gig.

You have to provide and work for the family. Long, hard hours to keep us going. Then come home and try to have enough left in the tank to provide love, and caring. Understanding when we are under the weather.

You have to balance being a PEERant and being a parent. Knowing when to have fun and when to be serious. When to guide and when to listen.

You beat yourself up about stuff because you are genuinely trying.

When you slip up you're devastated.

So here is what I want to say to you Hunna. Don't beat yourself up because you were short tempered that time or accidentally rough that other time.

Boy will remember the things you do consistently. He will remember the way you make him feel.

He will remember that his father was a good and honest man who raised him to be a good man too.

He will remember the times you opened the door for his mother and tapped her on the bottom as she passed.

He will remember the love that exudes from you when you play silly with him.

How you always give him the last tidbit of whatever you're eating.

How you ran into the waves to catch him when he was in the wrong place and was surprised and scared from getting wet on a cold winters afternoon. Getting sea water all up your trousers and laughing with Mum who is safely dry and ran in the other direction as the wave came into shore.

How he was sad and you embraced him and stroked his back to make him feel better.

How you laughed with him and then at him because his laugh is funnier than any joke.

These are the things he will remember. These are why you are the best Husband and Father for us.

This is why we love you.

Happy Fathers Day Hunna.

Sweet is our forever.

1 comment:

Spencer and Mackenzie said...

I absolutely adore your posts - they make my day. love you and miss you! xoxo