Jun 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I am fortunate to still have my father to celebrate with.  He is 66 years old and is still an active father in his children’s lives.  Father’s weren’t allowed to be active in the birthing process in 1971.  Under no circumstances were they allowed to be in the hospital room.  They had to put on their gowns and gloves when they wanted to hold their children.  My mom likes to tell the story of when they brought my oldest brother home.  My mom, her mom and my dad got into the car and drove home.  My dad opened my mom’s door, took my brother, and went inside.  He was so happy to finally have his son that he left my mom and her mother in the car.  

 Then the first girl came along.  She was the one who would wake up in middle of the night and watch Perry Mason with dad.  He would rock her back to sleep.  
I am the 4th child, but I came three minutes after my identical twin sister.  My father was minutes from delivering us in the car.  He drove like a man who didn’t want to deliver twins, which was quite fast and probably broke most of the traffic laws.  It is a good thing we were born at 2 am or he would have got his first human birthing experience.  To this day when he talks about it, his face gets ashen.  To this day, my twin sister and I are impatient we want something.
My two younger brothers make number 5 and 6.  I don’t remember too much about my younger brother. I do remember my baby brother. We were given the priviledge of naming my baby brother.  I wanted to name him Robin after Batman and Robin.  I was overruled.  
   
My father was the father that was outside playing with all the neighborhood children.  He would play football, baseball, basketball and kickball with all of us.  He would bring us to fly kites.  I can honestly remember playing outside most of the time and my father was out there with us most of the time.  My sisters and I learned to catch the long, hard passes as well as my brothers.  We could tackle anyone who had the ball.  I never heard my father say, “Little girls don’t do that”.  We were all raised where we felt capable of doing anything.
As we got older, his work changed.  He had to start working nights.  Still, he was the father that would tell his work he needed personal days, vacation time, etc. so he could watch our events.  That is a lot of events because remember, there are 6 of us.  The year my oldest brother started his senior year, my baby brother started kindergarten.  When I got into Junior High, he started working the morning shift again.
Then his girls turned into 14 and 15 year olds.  That has to be a scary time in any father’s life.  We were guy crazy.  We made some bad choices.  I think my father’s silent philosphy was that you can’t change what was already done.  I cannot remember him bringing up our poor choices after the punishment was carried through.  
My father exemplified what it meant to be a father.  He was slow to punish.  He let us know what we were being punished for when we had to be.  He was patient and consistent.  He is the best father a girl could have asked for.  He apologized when he did something wrong.  
Dad, there are so many great stories I can tell about you.  You are my hero.  You have always made me want to make you proud.  Most importantly, I am glad that I was born into our family so I could have the life I have today.

Do you have a wonderful father?  I hope so!  Enjoy your day with him if he is still alive, and if he isn't on this earth anymore, remember his memory.

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