Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

It's Father's Day, and although this holiday is the brainchild of the Hallmark greeting card company, it is a wonderful excuse to reflect on our loving fathers. Today I smile as I think about my daddy, the first man in my life. He is a strong and compassionate father, with a funny bone the size of Texas. He sang to me every night and every morning when I was little ("good morning, it's time to rise and shine, good morning, I hope you're feeling fine), made the best oatmeal, and patiently waited for me to finish getting ready so he could drive me to school at the risk of being late to his job. He taught me how to drive a stick shift, he took Tae Kwon Do lessons with my brother, sister, and I, to spend more time with us, all the while feeling the limitations of his own flexibility and aerobic endurance. When we were small he rolled us up in pillowcases and played "tacos" (swinging us around and around until his arms were tired) and let us sit on his lap and pretend we were driving the car down the driveway before our feet could reach the pedals. He took us into downtown Seattle for flavored popcorn, and shared his front-shirt pocket stash of Lifesavers. He was just in time to carry me to the school nurse's office the first time I badly skinned my knees in the first grade, taught me to ride without training wheels, and took us fishing with home-made bamboo fishing rods. This list of memories only scratches the surface. Today I am still his "little girl," greeted at the airport with a big bear hug and a funny joke. His blue eyes still sparkle when he smiles, and he still makes me feel safe and loved. I could not have asked for a better father. I may be getting older, in fact not far from finding some pesky grey hairs on my head, but he will still run to my aid if I ask him to, hold me just like I was 5 again and sing me silly songs. Love you dad!

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