Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More About my Daddy

This is the picture from yesterday without the darkening and other manipulations. This frame hangs on the wall in my living room.

My dad as a young man. These were taken before I was born.

When I was born, he embraced being a Dad. I am the oldest and I had the luxury of undivided attention until my sister came along. I was born in the early am hours and Dad worked the evening and early am hours. 2nd shift at the time. When he would come home at night, he would get me up and we would play, then sleep in the next morning. I still function that way. I find my greatest energy time is around midnight to 2 am. And, as long as I squeeze in enough rest through the week, these hours are my most creative.

On Saturday mornings, we would leave mom to sleep in and as soon as I was able to sit on a stool, we would have breakfast at Royston Drive Inn. Buddy and Barbara Gordon owned the place and Mr Buddy would fix me two grill cheeses - one at a time. Dad would visit with the regulars and "tell lies" about the week. (Royston Drive Inn is still there - new owners now - but still a warm and friendly small town grill environment.) Then we would ride and visit friends or run errands. My main memory of that time would cause heart failure today. I would stand on the front seat and lean against dad's shoulder as he drove.

I remember the physical feeling of leaning on his shoulder. Of how safe I felt with him taking care of me. I also remember feeling like I was the most special child in the world. We talked and talked, and as I grew, the conversations continued. No subject was taboo. These memories are the most real to me. He always made time to spend with me. If there were things he had to do, he allowed me to be there, so we could share time together. He was open and honest with me. These times were special, but also the core of my learning from him.

He was never my best friend. He was always my Father, my Daddy. I watch parents today as they try to be friends of their children. A friend has no accountability for how you turn out. A friend can leave you to deal with things. A friend has no vested interest in decisions you make. It is not the responsiblity of a friend to raise you, teach you respect, teach you responsibility, give you a moral base. My Dad chose the right path. He chose to Father me. He took that responsibility very seriously. I respected him, I revered him, I loved him. He took the time to share generosity with me, he took the time to discipline me, he allowed me to absorb his way of loving people without lecturing me. He allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them. Not once did he ever try to make a consequence go awaybut he walked beside me through many challenges. He was a parent who loved his children. I love him so much for that. To this day, I make decisions based on input from him. I still remember how crushing it was for him to say "I'm dissappointed". There were times that we didn't agree, but I always heard his input.

Thank you Daddy for choosing to parent me. I do believe we would be friends today. I would always still look at you as the authority though.

As a parent myself, I struggle sometimes with wanting to be a friend for my girls. Then I think about the right path for being their mom. I'm supposed to love them. I'm supposed to respect them. I'm supposed to teach them. I am not supposed to be their best friend. That would be unfair to both of them. AND that would be unfair to me. Maybe someday, they will understand, and then we can be friends.

Have a beautiful day.


lalheg said...

What a wonderful tribute

Wendy said...

I just found you through laughing duck. reading about your dad was like reading about my own. I looked back to the last post on him and your smell triggers. These happen to me regularly and people think I'm odd but so many memories good and bad are evoked from a quick whiff of something for me.

Josephine said...

Thank you. What a well-thought out peice. I think you are right, about parenting. Even though I'm not a parent, I hope to one day be this kind of parent. Very heart warming!

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Thank you for your sharing your love for your Father, your memories hold strong evidence of his love for you too.
What a gift you shared together!