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