Wednesday, June 12, 2013

every day should be father's day

A few weeks ago my father saw my (third) tattoo. And he didn't freak out.

This statement is possibly one of the most shocking statements I have ever proclaimed, with the exception of my declaration last night: "I'm training for a half marathon"....we'll see how long that one lasts. If you know me I know what you are thinking, "Carolyn, you exaggerate all the way that is the most shocking statement you have ever made" (I am hearing Justin and Jeremy in my head as I type this). But I will counter that argument with, have you met my father? Let me introduce you to him.....

My 5'2'' father is 71, he is from Tuckahoe, New York...essentially NYC. He was raised by a single mother, Louise, and his grandfather, Pop pop, in the 40's; he was an only child. He started working when he was 13, sang in the church choir and ran cross country for his high school. He followed in his father's footsteps and joined the Army right after high school. Because of his father's rank he was placed in the "guided missiles" department in the Vietnam War (he is also dyslexic which makes me very nervous when I think about the missiles he was in charge of writing coordinates for....). He started his own business and bought a house in Delaware in the early 70's. When he was set up with my Mom, he was also dating 4 other women at the same time. He tells me constantly its the only way to go, date, date, date. He still owns a flip phone, does not have an e-mail address and has no idea how to turn on a computer or how to check his voicemail, forget about a text message.

He is loud, boisterous and short. Life of the party, story teller (exaggerator) extraordinaire. He is where my life of the party personality comes from. I may look down on him physically, but I look up to him in life lessons he has taught me during my 27 years here on Earth. In general, I would say he tends to be a little more on the "conservative, traditional" side of things....and by that I mean he is the most conservative, traditional person I know.

A lot of times when I think about who my father is, I wonder where I came from, and I think he does too. His liberal, outrageous daughter adorned with tattoos and living in the scary city is a bewilderment to him; every single day he shakes his head in confusion. We fight, bicker and misunderstand each other all the time. But we also love each other in a deep way, in a "blood is thicker than water" kind of way. He let me cry on his shoulder and was there for every ballet performance I had for 13 years. He was there when I failed and with every success I had as well. He was there, putting aside any plans he may have had for his day, year or life. He pushed them aside and made room for his children, each in our own way. Granted none of this would have been possible without my mother there to support him, but I'll save that for another post.

I will always appreciate his voicemails. My favorite one is still the one in which in sang (tune: Mickey Mouse song) "M-I-C-K-E-Y   M-O-U-S-E........LARRIVEE, LARRIVEE. and if you call me, maybe I'll pick up the phone, but if I don't I'll call you anyway. LARRIVEE, LARRIVEE.

I will appreciate when he knows he will not win in an argument against the 4 women in the house and he sits back with his hands folded across his round stomach, feet crossed out in front of him. He drags a deep sigh of air before he declares "aw, shit" and then lets the argument die. I chuckle now when I think about the chaos this has caused in our house.

There are so many statistics of fatherless in our country, it is an epidemic, a tragedy. I am blessed every day to say my father desires to have a place in my life. I regret to confess I don't always make room for him there. I am thankful for him and his crazy antics and words of wisdom from growing up in the 1940's that he tries to apply to my life now in 2013. I am thankful for our differences, for the growth we can make together.  I am so blessed to be able to call my Dad and say "Happy Father's Day Daddy". I pray I never take this for granted.

happy fathers day ed, maybe one day you'll learn to turn on a computer so you can read this, I mean that in the most sincere, nicest way possible.

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