Experiences · Gratitude

My Pa

I wrote a post on my ma earlier this year, and I wanted to also write one on my dad. He might not read my blog, but the world (at least the small sector that reads this) should know how awesome my dad is.

First of all, my dad is basically the epitome of a dad joke. He’s got those for days. And the best part about his jokes is how hard he laughs at himself. It drives my mom crazy, which makes everyone around laugh even harder. He’s got quality stuff, and he seems to know that.

When I was a child, I was very intimidated by my dad, which was a good thing. He was definitely an authority in my life. Just one look from him could stop my brother and me from arguing in a heartbeat. Because of this intimidation, I learned to respect my elders. He was an authority figure, and he helped me realize that the authorities do have power over me, and that even if I don’t like them (there were some days I didn’t necessarily “like” my dad… I was kind of a bratty pre-teen), they still deserve and demand my respect.

Now I’m sort of an adult, and I believe I’m still slightly intimidated by my dad, but now it’s a different sort of intimidation. Now it’s more of a fear because of the respect I have for him. He did a lot, and he’s done a lot, for me and for many others, that cause me to respect and appreciate him beyond what I did as a child. However, I also know that he’s really just a big ole teddy bear. Yes, he’s tough and serious, but he’s also loving and kind. For example, our yellow lab died when I was in high school, and we went a really long time without getting another dog. One night, Mom convinced me to write a note and put it on my dad’s pillow: “Daddy, can we please get a puppy?” And that worked. Now, I’m sure the sole reason we rescued a black lab shortly after wasn’t the note, but it seemed to have an influence. Flash forward five years, with that same ole pooch, Moses. Dad sure complains about him a lot and threatens to send him away (to my house) quite frequently, but I can’t tell you how many times in the past few months that Mom has sent me a picture of Moses sitting on Dad’s lap. I don’t think Dad will ever admit it, but he loves that dog a lot. He’s a softie.

My dad has an answer for everything. Seriously. I could ask him about anything, and if he didn’t actually know the answer, he’d make something up so quickly and share the answer so confidently that there is no room for doubt. My favorite example is when we were talking about brain freezes (he gets really bad brain freezes so he doesn’t like ice cream, which is probably his only fault) and he said if you reach back with your tongue and feel the roof of your mouth all the way back to where it gets squishy, that squishy part is your brain. So when you eat ice cream, the ice cream touches your brain and freezes it… I’m pretty sure I fell for it, but not for very long. He has answers to all the serious questions too: any religion question (he is a pastor after all), taxes, FAFSA, student loans, car troubles, rent issues, voting, basically all the “adult” questions that they don’t teach you in school.

Another great thing about my dad is his teaching abilities. I distinctly remember the day he got furious at me for using my shoes to stop myself on my bike instead of the brakes. Instead of punishing me, though, he made sure I knew how to use the brakes, and wouldn’t let me ride the bike until I could prove I knew what I was doing. He took me to a big parking lot and taught me how to reverse and park a car. He taught me, unfortunately, how to start a mower, mow the lawn, and turn off a mower. The turning off and on part didn’t stick because I always had to have him turn it off and on… but he was patient enough to do so. He taught me not to let beer freeze and that it’s probably not a good idea to give your kids a bag of marshmallows on a road trip when Mom is sleeping. He taught me how to fish and bait a hook, but he still has to take the fish off for me.

He also taught me how to appreciate the finer things in life. The first time I had sushi was with him, and I’m pretty sure it didn’t go over well… but now I love sushi. He taught me to enjoy squash in all forms. He taught me how to drink coffee (black, please!). Now he’s teaching me about beer and the wonders that beer is. I wrote a post a while back about camping, and the only reason I went camping is because Dad taught me how and how to love it, even though every time we went it rained and soggy, campfire eggs became the norm.

He tolerates a lot from us kids, like how often we’re laughing at him, and the fact that because he guessed my Christmas gift to him when I was a kid, I now buy him a sweater every year, and he wears each sweater!

I think I said this about my mom, but I’ll say it again. It’s so hard to fully express how great he is. I’ve had 23 years of him for a father, and I wouldn’t change any of it. Even the not so great days taught me something about being a kid, being an adult, being a parent, or just being. I’m so thankful that God chose him as my father, because really, he’s just amazing.

Thanks, Dad.


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