Sunday, June 19, 2011

Top Pops

Well Happy Father's Day to all the dads and daddies out there!  Most importantly, though, Happy Father's day to MY dad.  My dad is the best.  He's kind, brilliant, and always good for a quick one-liner.  Today I spent the afternoon with my pops watching golf and just chilling with my family.  I brought over my laundry, and discussed where his dear ol' daughter (me) was going to live in a month and a half.  Did I ever consider BUYING a house, he asked?  No, Dad, in fact it's not entirely out of the question that you and I could be roommies again.  He must be so proud...Then we all went out to dinner and generously allowed him to pay for it.  What a great day!

I did some reflecting on my relationship with my dad. Growing up, I was the giggling, boy-crazy rule-breaker he might not have expected.  I was, admittedly, a tough cookie to raise.  How can a grown man understand the horrifyingly dramatic range of emotions of a teenage girl?  It all worked, though.  He is yin where I am yang.  He is logical where I am impetuous.  He is quiet and thoughtful where I am loudly opinionated and stubborn.  But yeah, it works.

I was thinking of what a Father's Day really is.  I think it's a day to, like, make ammends for the ridiculous drama I have brought to my dad.  From the first time I shrieked "I HATE YOU!" when I couldn't go to my first boy-girl party, to the time my parents showed up to visit me for the first time in college and I had gotten my eyebrow pierced (my dad wouldn't even look at my newly-mangled face - but, before heading back home, he slipped some cash in my hand "for scar revision"), to today when I explained that I just am not sure where I'll be living in a couple months.  I've put him (and my mom, of course) through the wringer.

But, I've learned a lot of good things, thanks to him.  I have the perfect handshake of a confident woman (taught to me by my dad when I was all of 13 years old), I know not to spend money I don't have thanks to his careful and frequent reminders of money management, and I (try to) do research on big things before committing - things like leasing a car.  He made me do my own taxes when I was like 16 with a pencil and piece of paper because I "should know how to do these things".  He encourages me to be curious and to work hard for things I want.  Though, he probably didn't intend for those "things" to be Kate Spade bags and new shoes.  But the point is, I learned the lesson.  I think probably the biggest thing is that he teaches me to be an independent person.  To think for myself and to trust myself when I am faced with problems.

That's not to say he hasn't helped me out of my fair share of jams.  After I found myself without a job after college, I was in the unfortunate situation of having to ask my parents for some, uh, financial sponsorship.  Without one "I told you so" or "you should have been more careful with your money", he silently helped me out, knowing that I was disappointed in myself enough for the both of us.  When I was fumbling my way through trying to replace an old car, he came home and handed me a few carefully researched options and said "Let's go take some test drives" and hardly flinched when I said "Ooooh, does this one come in that navy purple color?!"  When I gave up on my Journalism major in favor of the much more vague English major, he left books called "I Have an English Degree, Now What?!" and whatnot on the kitchen counter instead of badgering me about what I planned to do with my new, directionless future.

I'm a lucky girl, no doubt.  For all the drama that a girl can put her father through, my dad has made it look almost easy.  And even though I can't do math, and I don't know exactly what a "mortgage" is, he never seems to be disappointed in me.  Need I remind you all that I'm the girl who thought Chicago was 25,000 miles away from Minneapolis?  Or that I quit a long, successful soccer career in high school to be a cheerleader?  Or that, even after he got me a drum set for a Christmas present when I was in 4th grade, I went ahead and chose to play the flute?  Yeah, it's like I would go out of my way to the opposite of what he was hinting at.  Children...what a blessing.  

So for any of you new (or old) dads out there, take it from this well-adjusted, intelligent (stop laughing) young woman:  Treat your kids well, and support them.  Help them when they need it, but don't just do everything FOR them.  Be an example for them.  Set the bar high and don't be surprised when they reach it.  And don't be a jerk to them when they fall short.  And even when you just straight up don't understand your kids, trust that loving them is all they need to find success.  These are all the things my pops has done for me, and it feels pretty incredible knowing I have that kind of man in my life.

And okay, so because I feel all "make-ammends-y" right now, I have to confess a couple other things.  Dad, I recently fixed a leaky faucet with a piece of duct tape.  And I drove my car for like 6 months after it was due to get an oil change.  I NEVER take out the trash at home because I told Geo it's too heavy and I don't know which trash can is ours.  Oh, and instead of taking care of getting my hail damage fixed on my car, I spent my night tonight painting my nails and watching TV.  But, also, I wrote a totally awesome blog about my totally awesome dad.  That makes it a wash, right?

Happy Father's Day, Dad!  I love you and I'm so thankful for everything you do!  Also, thanks for paying for our dinner tonight - I would have, but you're the one who said I shouldn't spend money I don't have.  Yeah, you can blame yourself for that one...


Grandmaman said...

Pharon, that is the best tribute to a DAD that has ever been written!

JessiferSeabs said...

This was so sweet it made me teary. :-)

Do it. Buy a house. Seriously. Do it do it do it.

Also, my dad and I always had an agreement that he'd buy dinner until I turned 30 and then it was my turn. Uh, about to turn 34 and I think I've only sprung for one meal...

Madeline Solien said...

You're nice. I called my dad, told him that I loved him, and then talked about what I did this weekend...and then he sent me a putter. Happy Fathers Day to me!
p.s. don't ever let my dad read your blog. Thank you.

sarahabt said...

excellent! excellent! You are a great daughter..I am sure he LOVED reading that! WOW!!

I loved the last part about how he taught you not to spend money you didn't have!! hahahahahahaah