Father’s Day in the United States is coming up on this Sunday. It is a day when we celebrate all that our dad’s do for us. I was admittedly a daddy’s girl. My parents, who had tried to get pregnant and couldn’t agreed to adopt their young niece’s unborn baby, me, and a family was born. My dad used to say he knew I was a girl even before I was born. There was also the story, that I didn’t kick very much, until me soon to be father asked to feel me kick. (Not sure how true
that one is, but I don’t remember so I won’t question it.)
At 5 days old, I was taken from a Ct. hospital and the rest is history. My dad couldn’t go anywhere around the house without me tagging along. He nicknamed me Charlie, for Charlie Brown. I hated it as a young girl but grew to love it when I got older.
The story I am sharing isn’t a specific Father’s Day story, it is just a story to show you what kind of father my dad was. I lost him in January 1992 to a massive heart attack, and I think about him every day still.
We had a chain of department stores called Ames here in the Northeast when I was growing up. The one closest to us had its toy department in the back of the store down this long wide cement ramp. The entire floor was just toys.
One evening my mom had to go shopping and dad took us. I was about 7 or 8 at the time, too young to have my parents embarrass me, and just old enough to get a kick out my dad behaving badly. He went to the toy department with me while my mom shopped. They had just gotten a stock of pogo sticks in and I had never used one.
I was scared to try it out. Hey, cut me some slack you had to, in one movement jump up on this thing with one leg, and begin jumping without toppling over into a pile with the contraption.
Heavy duty stuff when I was 7 in 1978.
My dad, I think to begin with wanted to set my mind at ease and show me even an old dad can do it. He took a shiny red one and hopped up, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, did I mention it was the 1970’s, and began to pogo up and down the aisles. At some point in his mind his priorities switched from showing me it was safe to attempting to pogo up the ramp into the store proper.
It was all fun and games until he bounced up the ramp, around a corner and came face to face with a store clerk. I can still remember as clear as if it were yesterday, “Sir, you are not allowed to play with the toys outside of the designated toy area.”
He was contrite and apologized and took the pogo stick back to its home all the while smiling like a kid who just robbed a candy store.
His last words before we went to find my mom were, “Don’t tell your mother we got caught.”
He was a good man and would help anyone who needed it without question or expectation of repayment. I get sad whenever I think about the fact, we lost him before he got a chance to see my family. He did get to meet my now husband, but he would have had a blast with my daughters, and I am sure they would have gotten in a lot of trouble together.
I know there are a lot of people who struggle with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, either because of loss or because they never had an opportunity to have a close relationship with their parents for many reasons. My heart goes out to each one of you. I personally see it as a day to remember what my dad meant to me, and I often include those other role models that helped to make me the adult I am today, because, as an adopted child, I understand the word father is just the name you give to people who were there for you and that you care deeply about. It is not solely given to the man who sired you.
My husband in turn has been an amazing father to his two daughters and I know my dad would have been immensely proud of him. So, today I spend my time finding ways to show my husband how much I appreciate him as a father.
I hope, if you celebrate you will find something fun to do and remember of days past.
Next up we have A.S. Fenichel and her Father's Day story. Stop in and check out her Pre-Order. The next one in her series! Defiance.