Father’s day isn’t for another few months here, but it’s already happening in the States. And since my dad is there and not here, I’ll go ahead and do my Father’s Day post early. Not that I need a holiday to celebrate the most righteous dude in my life.
My dad. Big Larry. LT. Pop Pop.
My dad is a relic of the good ol’ days of America. He was born and raised in the mid-west by a concert pianist and a civil agricultural engineer, and learned to live modestly, value education, love music, and to always work hard and sacrifice when necessary. In another life, my dad would have been a sheep farmer, driving a tractor on his land and wearing overalls, or a college professor with suede patches on his elbows and a thermos full of black coffee. But he ended up being a major in the US Army, working with the Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security, and a bunch of other top secret world traveling “You Don’t Have Top Secret Clearance So You Can’t Know About It” stuff.
He’s the quintessential “dad.” He always knows the answer to any question I have, and any sub question after that. In fact, some of my best memories with my dad are the long drives back and forth from the barn when I was little, listening to his lectures as I asked questions. He can fix any broken toy, grow any plant, make any piece of furniture, fix almost any faulty car part, and pre-GPS days, could always pin point my whereabouts and get me where I needed to be as I wailed in anger through my cell phone. He’d always fall for the “But mom said it was ok!” line. He’s the first person anyone asks when they need help with something. He has like, 6 Master’s Degrees. He has always driven with a coffee cup (not a travel cup) filled with steaming hot coffee and has never spilled — even when driving stick shift and reversing. He can load a moving truck like it’s Tetris, and with almost no training, he’s become a professional landscaper.
When I’m on my game, my dad and I make a good team: we’re both hyper-focused, highly creative, and super dedicated, which came in handy since he was always very good at indulging whatever ridiculous building project I had in mind. I always try to apply the “measure twice cut once” rule he taught me, but let’s be real: I got all the impulsiveness that was bred out of him through generations of patient farm work. But I think my initial “Hey–I can make that!” home project ideas comes from his engineer genes. Unfortuantely, we’re also both absent minded professors and are ridiculously clumsy. We are king and queen of losing things we’ve just put down 5 minutes ago, accidentally washing a load of laundry without soap, or tripping over air and knocking our heads into things (although I blame that on us being so freaking tall that gravity confuses us).
I never realized how much my dad sacrificed for us until I read his promotion orders when he finally made major. I read that he had been up for many jobs that would have gotten him promoted sooner, but he declined the positions because it would have meant moving, and that would have meant pulling Josh from his orthodontics program, and all of us out of school. My parents knew how hard it was on Shayne to move and start at a different high school, so they wanted to avoid it with us. As a result, my dad took different jobs in order to stay on the same military base for nearly 10 years so us kids could finish school. And my dad got overlooked for major as a result. But he did it for us. I can’t think of any other military dad who would have taken path.
My dad is amazing. He’s selfless, encouraging, loving, and fiercely loyal. He’s given me such a profound example of fatherhood, just by being there. And my heart swells when I think of how proud I am of him and how much I love him.
And seriously, no one has ever rocked a pair of overalls in Washington DC quite like my Oklahoma born dad:
Thank you, dad, for always being there. Thank you for giving me an example of what a father should be. Thank you for helping me with my bags every time I’ve moved. Thank you for valiant attempts at teaching me math. Thank you for making me drive in rush hour traffic on I-395 when I’d only had my driver’s permit for 24 hours. And thank you for overlooking how many seasons of 16 & Pregnant I’ve bought on your Amazon Prime.
Love you! Mean it! xoxo