"The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get." Tim Russert
This week in the Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite's Keeper, is the subject of Father's Day. I would normally wait to do another Spin Cycle until later in the week, but...Father's Day is tomorrow so I want to post now :-) Now, I saw this quote the other day, and I loved Tim Russert as a fellow journalist, but I have to disagree with Tim just a bit. Not that I don't think my dad is smart, but I've always thought he was smart. That fact has never changed to me. In fact, growing up and still to this day, I view my dad as one of the smartest people I know.
My father is an engineer, as I come from a long line of engineers, and I'm actually marrying one, too, ironically. Growing up, I thought my Dad knew everything. He was always the one I went to when I needed help with my homework, and sometimes this would be a bad thing because with math homework, he'd always end up getting frustrated because the teacher was "teaching it wrong" and I didn't quite understand. That was usually when it came to word problems. I hated those with a passion. That and conversions. Anyway, I digress...he was my go-to guy. When I was stuck with something, he could help. As I got older, that fact just grew stronger and stronger.
When I was a teenager, he was the man I went to when I needed to learn how to drive. Granted, I was scared to death to drive with him in the car because I was afraid of doing something wrong, but I always thought he was the best driver I had ever known, so he'd be the best person to teach me. Growing up, we'd go on long trips back and forth between Alabama, where we lived for 10 years, and Indiana to see family, and I always felt safe when he was behind the wheel. When I started driving on my own and had my own car, if there was ever something wrong, I'd call Dad. Now, I've hit a few parked cars in my day (and no, I'm not going to say how many), he would always be the person I'd call crying about it. Not sure what he'd be able to do about it, but I just thought maybe he could fix it. When I had a flat tire, he'd fix it. Car wouldn't start, he'd help. Oil needed changed, there was no question I'd go to him. Up until when I met T, he still was that person. He still jokes about the times I called him a couple years ago when my car wouldn't start, asking 'what do I do?' He works 45 minutes away from my apartment, so he was like "what do you need me to do about it? I can't come there!" But I'd still call him. Because I always though, he'd fix it and make it better.
Also, as a child, my dad would be my go-to with medical issues. See, I was born with a congenital heart condition and had surgery at four months old. So I went to a cardiologist yearly my whole life and still do to this day. As a child, I'd normally be pretty scared to go, but my parents would always go with me. My father was always my rock about it. He still is. Just two years ago, we had a bit of a scare where we thought legitimately that my heart condition had resurfaced. I was not well, and I needed to go in for a series of tests: blood work, doctor's appointment, chest x-ray and CT scan. I was scared, but I didn't want to let on. I didn't let myself get too scared or cry. I just focused on it, and the person I asked to go with me was my father. He's always there for me, but not in a smothering kind of way. He knows how I get with tests like these and knows that all I need is him there. I don't need to talk (hell, I can barely talk I'm so nervous), and I don't need hand holding. I just need to know he's there. He went with me to each and every appointment that morning, spanning four hours, and he supported me. It meant the world to me.
Now that I'm getting married, T is taking a lot of these roles that my father has, but he will never replace him in any respect. I often joke with T that he needs to handle my doctor's appointments more like my father and he needs to learn to deal with my car incidents like my father...but it's all in good fun. My dad is an amazing dad, and I love him more than anything. I tear up already thinking about September 18th when I'll be holding his arm, as he walks me down the aisle to give me away. That, I'll admit, is going to be extremely hard. I'm his youngest child, his baby, and he means the world to me. I don't think he realizes it fully but I hope someday to truly show him just how much he does.
I'm passing it onto the next generation...Roo and I had this exchange at the garage sale two weekends ago:
"Roo, you're getting a swing-set!!! Pawpaw will have to come over and help you put it together," I told her.
"He can??? How?" Roo asks in disbelief.
"Because he's Pawpaw, and he can do anything. He's the smartest man ever," I tell her.
"Oh...." She looks at me in total awe. She then runs of to play with God knows what....See, he's not just the smartest man to me either!
Happy Father's Day!