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Friday, June 15, 2012

8 reasons I don't love my dad on Father's Day

In honor of my Papa on Father's Day

Why I don't love him.
And in the very same reasons... why I love him so much.
You're going to have to go here to truly understand this pic.
1)  I don't love my dad because he bought me everything I ever wanted.  I think he would have if he could have.  No, then again, probably not.  He's smart that way.  But he loved me enough to know that giving a child everything she wants doesn't amount to a hill of beans.  And going without helped me learn that what I really needed in life, I already had.  

2)  I don't love my dad because he took me to concerts.  I really wanted to go to concerts as a kid, specifically Huey Lewis and the News.  My friends got to go.  Their dads drove them 2 hours one way to see a concert that no doubt the dads didn't care to see, then 2 hours back home.  My dad never did that.  He did however play Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Loggins & Messina, Jimmy Buffett, and Bett Midler at ear-splitting decibel levels on Saturday mornings.  On one hand, as a teenager, I despised being woken up at 9am to loud music.  But soon after the sleep was rubbed from my eyes, I loved that I had a dad that could still crank tunes really loudly... and not care if the neighbors heard it or not.  

3)  I don't love my dad because he bought me a new car on my 16th birthday.  He didn't.  I once came home from my friend's 16th birthday party ticked off.  She got a brand new 1984 baby blue Camaro complete white pin striping, navy blue leather interior, and with big red bow. I was pea-green and knew full well there would never ever be a new car gifted from my parents and thought a teenage tantrum was warranted.  My dad did give me a 1970 yellow Volkswagen bug, that was handed down from my mom.  My dad made me help put on new fenders too.  And after he taught me how to change a tire, he placed a small bathroom rug in the car too, so that I wouldn't scuff up my shoes if I ever needed to change a tire.  I still think about that rug, and it still brings tears to my eyes.  

4)  I don't love my dad because he created the perfect looking family for me to grow up in.  When I was 2 years old, it was just him and me.   And it was just him and me for a while.  In an era when single dads were unheard of, he was one.  And he took the raising of his daughter very seriously.  Some of my childhood was quite unconventional.  I learned that unconventional is grossly underrated and families come in many varieties.  

5)  I don't love my dad because he trusted me so much that he let me go unchecked.  The most predictable thing about my dad was his unpredictability.  As a teenager, it was part of his parenting strategy to keep my on my toes.  My dad would show up at the movies or restaurant when I had a date.  He'd call the pizzeria directly on a Friday night just to make sure I was where I said I would be.   Pre-cell phones, the waitress would then go from table to table asking if Nancy was there and that she had a phone call.  In college he would show up 2 hours away unexpected at my apartment... regularly.  

6)  I don't love my dad because we celebrated every holiday together.  My dad worked really hard.  He worked 3 jobs to put me through college.  He occasionally missed school concerts, holidays, and birthdays.  I remember coming home from college, him pulling the cash out of the secret hiding place, and we would count it together at the kitchen table to see if there was enough for next semester's tuition.  

7)  I don't love my dad because he's a sharp dresser and a trend setter.  For him, dressing up is usually a Hawaiian print shirt with new-ish Levi 501's.  Unless it's a really dressy event in which he will don a Guayabera.  (He'd be proud that I'm gonna make y'all look up Guayabera to figure it out what it is.)  My dad has always been a variation of Tom Selleck, Teddy Roosevelt, and Earnest Hemingway.  I've seen him wear a tuxedo once... for my wedding... because I asked him to.  

8)  I don't love my dad because he bought us a big house.  I grew up in a tiny 2 bedroom, 1 bath home, before that a rental, before that a borrowed trailer, before that a van down by the river, and before that as a newborn I came home to someone else's house because my parents didn't have anywhere else to go.  I'd go out on a limb and say that without saying a word, my dad taught me home is whereever family is, and that's more important than a house of any size.  
This Father's Day, my Papa is coming to see us in Little Cabin in the Woods.  Hubby is taking him fishing.  I'm going to make him a key lime pie, and Sunny will make her bruschetta.  Then I thought we'd all gather (if I can wrangle all 7 of the kiddos into the same place at the same time) and serenade him with You are my Sunshine on the porch.

It's not enough.
It'll never be enough.


  1. Shame on should've told me to grab a knleenex.

    I love this. Every.word.

    And that last photo of him is just perfect.

    I hope he enjoys his serenade.

  2. I should have warned us to get the kleenexes! He sounds like just the perfect dad...maybe because he sounds very much like mine. My dad taught us to appreciate everything and not to expect anything. Thank you for sharing about your sweet father. Enjoy your weekend together!

  3. Love it:) Cheers to all the great dads out there! Mine is one of them too:) Although totally different than yours:) He was SO conventional......and probably would have thought your dad was nuts......but he was always.and is always there for us. Your dad sounds like lots of fun;)

  4. I love this. You need to write a book about your life, past present and future. I would so read it--and watch the movie! :)


  5. Ah, Nancy you are amazing. This is a wonderful post. I remember sitting at your Dad's house. I am not sure which time but we were sitting in a room off the kitchen with a wood stove. One of the things you told me you would always remember about your dad was how he would put this heavy, winter coat over you and how this made you feel so safe and protected. I have always remembered that story.

    Happy Happy Happy Father's Day. Sounds like you are going to have a wonderful day with your family!!! Miss you, Melissa

  6. Simply beautiful Nancy. Have a wonderful Father's Day.

  7. You should have putting a warning at the top of this post. I wasn't prepared to cry at 6:03am on Saturday morning. Beautiful Nancy. It all sounds so perfect in its' own way.

  8. What an amazing story. You are so lucky to have the bond you do with your dad!

  9. Looooove!!!!! Home is where your family is(; I love this

  10. That was so incredible Nancy. I just home last week from seeing my dad who is suffering from Parkinsons and has dementia really bad. There were times during our visit he didn't know who I was and it is breaking my heart. We live 1800 miles away, but it's not something miles will cure. It's so sad to see my smart, successful, business owner, fun and funny daddy losing every tiny bit of who he used to be. Extra hugs for your dad!!

  11. Wow, I love all the ways he showed you he cared about you!


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