Plenty of girls think their dad is the greatest man in the world. I hate to break it to them, but my dad IS.
When I was a little girl, he used to let me put pink sponge rollers and multi-colored plastic barrettes in his hair. He would play “blanket monster” with us—hiding under our scratchy plaid throw and pretending to be a rock until one of us ventured near. Then he’d spring to life under the blanket and attack us in a fury of tickles. If we were ever changing into footie pajamas when he was getting us ready for bed, he would make it a point to lift us up by our pants.
I used to spend hours in the garage, rifling through a jar of odds and ends he kept out there for me to play with. He’d be building something at his workbench and I’d be sorting plastic wall anchors, various caps, colorful bolts and other random items he would probably never use for anything, but also wouldn’t throw away because he knew how much I enjoyed them.
He helped me with math in elementary school. Built an electric “conductors vs. non-conductors” experiment for me so I could participate in the science fair. He gave me the nickname “ducky” and bought me a set of vintage ceramic ducklings at a garage sale. He scooped dead fish out of my tank in junior high. He came to supervise the tow truck driver when I blew two tires on the freeway in college. He helped me move countless pieces of furniture into my apartment and loaned me his pipe wrench when I accidentally broke the catch in my bathroom and needed to install a new one.
More important than the things he did for me, though, were the things he taught me. Invaluable lessons and protocols such as:
Always dry your car with a chamois. The synthetic rags just don’t work as well, and the chamois is soft so it won’t scratch your paint.
Popcorn is better if you cook the kernels in oil, in a real pot. Air poppers are for sissies.
Just because you watch cooking shows doesn’t mean you actually have to cook. Unless it’s a weekend and no one is home. Then you should just make yourself chili size or wienies and beans.
Spiders are the scariest insects in the world, but they’re good for your tomato plants. They eat all the pests who try to dine on your fruit.
If you’re in a marina and you see the cops chasing someone, tackle him. It doesn’t matter if you’re only 5’7” and unarmed. It is your duty as a concerned citizen to intervene and help reprimand the criminal.
Try not to stay up later than 9:00 p.m. And if someone wakes you up at 10 p.m. you have every right to yell at them from underneath your pillow.
The key to your daughters’ hearts is humor. Puns, spastic dancing, overly dramatic stories, murmured remarks—they’ll do wonders to permanently endear you to your little girls.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. You really are the best one in the world.