I don’t have a cute screenshot of some Instagrammed text thanking dads for all they do. I only have my own words and the ways in which the dads in my life have influenced my use of them.
I still remember spending the night at my grandparents’ house and always being excited as a kid because Papa would make sausage patties in the morning- every time, without fail. With the rest of breakfast, but that wasn’t important.
I remember hiking with my dad, watching him try to catch a garter snake until my brother and I pointed out the rattle on its tail.
Of course these aren’t my only memories and I’m not done making memories with them both, but I wanted to keep this post shorter than novel-length.
Both my dad and my grandfather have always allowed me to be imaginative and allowed my mind to run free. I can’t think of a single instance when either of them thought my stories were bad, dumb, or had no place. They do it now with my kids and cousins too. Their eyes don’t roll and glaze over; instead they sparkle. They ask for more detail, for the story or world to be fleshed out and made more real. Usually the kid loses interest first and walks away. Sure, there are the “tell me later, when I don’t have a literal fire on my hands” moments, but they’re actually followed up on. “Hey, sorry I was busy. What were you trying to tell me?” It’s not the distract and ditch you see so much of. (Or that I am occasionally guilty of…)
It’s so bizarre to me when people talk about dads breaking out of their gender roles and what a struggle it can be. My dad was a stay at home dad for a little while, my dad and grandfather have always been “nurturers” to me(hello- sausage PATTIES- EVERY.TIME!), and even the dad in my life who I CHOSE (to be the dad of my kids) is a baby-wearing, emergency cloth-diapering, ABC song at bedtime, “you have to eat real food before dessert”, diaper bag wielding, spit up mopping, baby-juggling super dad. I didn’t make him that way and I helped very little with the technical side of things. As much as I’m sure he would love to end every day with a beer, TV and not a peep from the kids, he’ll often come home after a long, hard day and things like “I got this. I’m tired, not useless. I’m still the dad,” if I try to make the bottle (cough, cough, last night). It’s not unusual (AT ALL) for my dad to say “Hey, can I take the kid outside?” to show one of the kids (or cousins) the grass, trees, sky, so that the kid can calm down or get excited or just get outside.
I guess all this goes to say that I have been extremely lucky in my life where dads are concerned.
I love you guys,
Happy Father’s Day!!