A Father’s Day Card for my Dad

As a kid, I usually made gifts and cards for my dad for every holiday. Painted rocks as paper weights, shells glued together to form a semblance of a person (whom my dad still has and calls “Sheldon”), cards penned with quirky phrases or jokes that can only be funny when coming from a kid who just learned to write.

I asked my dad what the funniest/oddest/quirkiest gift I ever gave him, and he responded with this photo:

Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo

I laughed out loud and all the memories of our shared sense of humor came flooding back. I realized I had gotten my dad a gift this year (a grow your own morel mushroom kit- he’s a nature buff) but neglected to send him something handmade as I have traditionally done. So dad, here is your handmade gift. Enjoy, and I hope you look back at it every time you are lonely or just need to know how wonderful of a father you are.

Celebrating Short’s 10 Year Anniversary with a brew this year

What I Inherited

My sense of humor. My dad and I have the same sense of humor. Odd at times, inappropriate at others, definitely a shared trait. We are not above potty humor, resorting to practical jokes and witty quips. I remember one time we tied a piece of my hair to the leg of a fly, trying for hours to get it just right. Now, this might not seem funny to you, but the fly will actually fly around in circles, looking like it is in a leash. See? Not funny, unless you were there with us, cracking up and taking photos.

My work ethic. Since I can remember, I have been a hard worker. No, not just a hard worker, almost obsessed with juggling all the balls and pushing myself to the limit when it comes to faithfully executing every task that comes my way. My dad is the same- he is one of the absolute hardest workers I know. This is tough for us. I am currently struggling with trying to make it all work- being there for my kids while pursuing a career. He missed some of our childhood experiences because of work- hey, it happens. I know he was trying to make a better life for us and wasn’t out at a bar, boozing it up instead of going on vacation with us.

My love of action movies. One of the first movies I can remember watching is Silver Bullet. My dad and I recently had a good laugh about this, reminiscing about how inappropriate it was to let a kid watch this movie. (Secretly, I laughed because I showed my son a movie that wasn’t ideal, and the kid called me out on it, telling me it was inappropriate for him…he just turned 3). My dad and I share a mutual passion for the Die Hard and Indiana Jones films, or as my mom calls, them: “shoot ’em up movies.” I also remember when I got my heart broken for the first time- my dad took me to see Braveheart right after my first love broke up with me. I cried through the WHOLE damn movie, and my dad sat right there with me in the theater, probably not knowing what to do but hopefully understanding that his silent presence was all that was needed.

What I Learned

There is a limit. In high school, I had a bit of rebellious streak. Nothing so horrible that it would be considered juvenile delinquent status, but I think I wanted to shed the goodie two shoes persona that I had cultivated nonetheless. My dad became hip to my tricks, and took me on a drive to lay down the law in a relatable but stern manner. He wasn’t necessarily yelling at me, just prodding me to cut that $hit out.

Patience and planning. My dad is akin to MacGyver in our circles. If you want to build something, he can make it happen. I would occasionally get frustrated when he would meticulously plan something, draw up plans, measure twice cut once, but he always got it right. I, however, often dive in for lack of patience and screw it all up the first time. I am learning, and will always learn from him on this front.

Showing Bryson how to use a slingshot- such a valuable skill
Teaching Bryson how to build a fire

Love. My dad isn’t the most emotional person, or all that demonstrative when it comes to traditional ways of expressing his feelings. I learned that even if this is true, it doesn’t mean that people don’t have incredibly strong feelings. For example, at my wedding, I recall my dad simply squeezing my hand on and off as we walked down the aisle. That simple connection was all I needed to know he was there, in that moment with me, supporting me.

Holding Charlotte

Dad, you are an amazing father and a cherished grandfather. I know I haven’t always been the easiest kid to corral, but please know that I feel so fortunate my children will inherit and learn from you asI have.

First Cubs game for my dad, Charlotte and Bryson

I love you!


1 Comment

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