I keep a foot in happy and sad each Father’s Day.
The happy is easy: I have three wonderful daughters who enrich my life beyond measure. I also miss my dad. He died of leukemia three months before Hayden was born. This Father’s Day I again considered visiting his grave.
It’s in a beautiful spot, just under a mimosa tree that since has grown incredibly.
But it’s not where he is. It’s not where I feel him. I felt him so much more in the years just after his death. I’ve written about things I can’t explain. I feel as if my dad had to expend a lot of cosmic energy after death just to keep me from self-destructing.
Now, dad is part of me, my sister, her kids, and mine.
This Father’s Day, my hope was simple: Bake a stack of Totino’s pizzas and watch all of the Die Hard movies with the girls I love. I didn’t want much. I also didn’t make it to dad’s grave. I thought of bringing Camdyn. But, he’s not there.
Stealers and shifting plans
We settled in for the USWNT match before we got to hear the deluge of Bruce Willis F-words. That’s when the text came in from Madison. Someone had stolen a bunch of stuff from her car while they shopped in Academy Sports.
Along with golf clubs, Bluetooth speakers (from Five Below, so no huge blow), and charging cords, they’d also snagged her boyfriend’s car keys.
Which had their apartment keys. Could you go to the apartment, dad, Madison was asking, and make sure no one steals Sutton’s car? Or, gets in the apartment. They couldn’t remember if there was any mail in the car the thieves could find an address with.
Unshowered, unlunched and unready for anything other than recliner time, I reported to duty.
If you’ve ever read a word here you likely know that Totino’s pizza has become hallowed. It’s $1.39 for a frozen chunk the shape of my home state. But the girls and I have found a diamond in the rough in this stuff. It’s our most comforting comfort food.
I’m not writing this to laud myself as a good daddy.
I wanted to remain unshowered, unready for anything other than recliner time, and unequivocally, and crunchy-crust lunched. But a kid of mine in need kind of activates that Yippee Kiyay, motherf*cker instinct, too. Who knows it would be more powerful?
Dad’s learning curve
I learned a lot this Father’s Day.
I learned that it’s beneficial to not act like a hungry bear even if you are one. I learned that a daughter with the expense of a new lock, new cheap Bluetooth speakers and a new car key for a boyfriend’s VW still won’t let you pay for her new lock.
But you do anyway (because she’s going to bring you a Big Mac, too.)
I learned that to have to serve as the dad on Father’s Day is kind of the best kind of way to spend a Father’s Day.
I mean, it wasn’t Middle-aged Man Moving Minimally Day. Even though Camdyn forgot to send USWNT updates (they won 3-0) and the Rockies lost 14-13 that day, and I didn’t get my Totino’s, I won in huge, significant ways.
I got to be a dad for Father’s Day.
I also got a Star Wars shirt and puzzle, A Broncos shirt, a bottle of tequila and an awesome drawing of me and my three rapscallions. And a delicious dinner we didn’t even have to bake. Mostly, I got plenty of time with the girls who made the day necessary.
I can put both feet (up in my recliner, even) into that happy spot.