June 19, 2011

A Day to Celebrate Dads

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.

John Gregory Brown

The thread began with the birth of your first daughter, me! Two more followed. Your drive to be a good man increased. You always told us we could be anything we wanted to be. With each encouraging word, a stitch was sewn.

You worked sixty hour weeks and provided for our family. You helped with homework and re-proved Geometry theorems long proven. When I asked what a word meant, you told me to go look in the dictionary. But your advice didn't stop there. You told me to memorize the word above it and below it as well.

My favorite Dad sayings:
* SOL = S**t out of luck
* Katie bar the door = Hold me back
* You might want horns, but you're going to die butt-headed = I told you No, child.
* You've gone from preaching to meddling now = advice is one thing, nagging is another
* If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass when he jumped = Deal with reality

The first time I heard someone else say SOL, I wanted to ask them if they knew my dad. In my eyes, he invented everything. My pedestal was built high, and he sat upon it. The teenage years came. He pushed us while holding on and creating safety. We disagreed at times, but I knew he loved me. More stitches sewn.

When I met my future husband at eighteen, he was cautious but supportive. Five years later, we married. Dad walked me down the aisle, but never gave me away entirely. The year we got married was my parent's 25th year of marriage. I asked my dad what made a good marriage. He told me compromise, with a caveat. "Compromise does not usually mean 50-50," he said. "Sometimes he'll get 100% of what he wants, sometimes you will. But, in the end, it should all come out right." These words often comfort me. What is the 50-50 to having children? Whether to move or not? Changing careers?

Dad with Jackie in 2000
I made my dad a grandfather the year he turned 50! Still a successful and very busy professional, he always made time for visits. The stress washed away when he held my daughter; he softened like I'd never seen. The cloth surrounded me; so many stitches.

My parents recently celebrated 40 years of marriage, and their support for their children has never lessened. Though we've grown up and had kids of our own, they still ask us to call if we are traveling to let them know we are safe. I am very blessed.

Today, I say Happy Father's Day to my dad. I wouldn't be half the person I am today without your love and support. And, I must say, all those extra words I looked up have come in handy!

Special aside: my dad was the humor. He found ways to lighten up heavy moments and trying times. I credited my gift of humor to him in our Lifetime Television interview, scheduled to air Tuesday, June 21st on their morning talk show, The Balancing Act, at 7am (ET/PT). A link to the teaser: http://www.thebalancingact.com/video/?v=CHS56QHE203174.

And let's not forget my wonderful husband on Father's Day:

Ed with Jackie and Reagan 2002
I fell in love with him for many reasons: his looks (honesty is my curse!!), his beautiful smile, his calming effect, his kindness, and his loyalty. We met the third day of my freshman year of college, and we never looked back. I wasn't looking for a husband, much less the father of my children. But I know a good thing when I see it.

With Maddie, our baby, 2005
 I first fell for the man, but I fall harder every day because of the father and husband he is. His family comes first. Laid back in most things, I've seen him agonize over decisions involving our family and his precious girls.

I'd like to take credit for picking a great father, but luck was on my side. Girls, especially, learn so much from their fathers. It takes a special man to give girls those gold threads.

My husband has always been hands-on; he changed many a diaper and makes school lunches almost every morning. He rarely misses an event. My girls will someday have their dad-cloth, and I know all too well what comfort it brings.

Thanks to all the dads out there, and Happy Father's Day!

What's your fondest memory with your dad?


Anonymous said...

Sweet post, Tia. I love the photos, too!

Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

Isn't it wonderful to have a time to give tribute to the men we love and to publically declare how much they've blessed and molded us for good!?

Thanks for sharing, dear, and may you continue to be blessed by these men in your life for many years to come.

Tia Bach said...

Liz & Kate, Thanks for stopping by. With a mother-daughter blog, we don't often herald what the guys/dads do. Father's Day was the perfect chance to show a little love. Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing! Oh...and SOL is a phrase that runs throughout my family and my husband's..and we've been known to say it too! I guess we're keeping it alive in the Midwest! But I haven't heard "Katy bar the door" in ages. :)

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Aunty JuJu. SOL is a good one. I've used it with my girls, but it's Shucks Out of Luck!