Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Number One

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.

8 comments:

geekhiker said...

A heartfelt post, very nice. So many of us have good fathers, there's little point, I think, in competing. Father's are grand, and it's a shame Father's Day isn't given the hype Mother's Day is.

Then again, if your Dad is anything like mine, he probably wouldn't want a fuss anyway. :)

Diz said...

I LOVE your dad! We really are lucky girls to have the dads that we do. I have so many fun memories of your dad, like camping in Dumont Dunes and soooo many more. Love this post!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Awwwww, sounds like your Dad is pretty lucky too. I want to read about the marina and tackling bad guys!! Blog please...

laura said...

Nice post...your dad is great, but so is his twin brother.

Big Sister said...

That perfectly summed up Dad. You did forget to mention that if a cherry tomato suddenly squirts into your eye, you must dramatically grap your eye and moan loudly, even if you are in a crowded restaurant. Also, do not hesitate to grab a gun if there is a black widow spider in your garage, nearing your tools. And lastly, it is possible to suddenly become blind in the middle of the night, while in Arizona, so always sleep with a flashlight. We do have the best Dad and Grandpa in the world. (His twin brother is pretty cute too)

mom said...

Your dad's wife, known as "mom" thinks he's a great dad also. We are so proud to have 3 great children and 4 great and beautiful granddaughters. We worked very hard raising fine children who would produce fine grandchildren.
You all are our rewards for our job well done. Thank you for acknowledging the fact.

Michael C said...

This was great. I can only hope that my twin girls can write about me with the same love, admiration and affection some day.

Hmmm, to ensure that, maybe I'll start letting them watch High School Musical more than twice a day.

Alysha said...

Just read both you and geekhikers posts. I am jealous. I can look at my childhood and think of so many fond memories of my dad. However, the last 5 years, his increasing absences make Father's Day like Valentine's day for the Single Person... I think it would be easier if I didn't have such great memories growing up, now I just try to ignore it, but Father's Day was rough this year. Congrats on having such a family. Always remember you are blessed!