Lately, when I think about my Dad, I chuckle about him focusing on the minute details of something and never seeing or dismissing the bigger picture. For example, he focuses on how much cargo space is in the back of my SUV to determine if I can make a grill fit that he just purchased and asked me to bring to his house. I know he meant well and just reassured him that it fitting or not fitting, there is always another way to make something work if the first attempt fails. I ended up taking the lid off the grill if you’re wondering to make it fit properly and just put it back on when I dropped it off at his house.
Growing up with someone who was literally a larger version of myself was difficult. There are many times through my life until I moved out that I had thought about how awesome it would be to not have to live under his roof. I didn’t have the mental capacity or experience to understand that he just “got it” and made decisions that he knew I needed at the time regardless of whether I knew it or not. One such situation I’ve gone back to often and recall vividly was the time that I decided to walk out of the house with an unloaded .22 rifle to intimidate the local bully that had only a half hour before pulled a knife on me. This kid was bad news all around and my immature pudding brain thought it would be a good idea to show some force. An hour later, after we called the cops on them trespassing on the neighbor’s property, the cops were at my doorstep asking to see the rifle that the local kid had alleged was brought out of my house. Long story short, the whole incident ruined the trust my Dad had with me for months and it took a long time for it to build back up to the same level as before this incident. I had to get married and have a daughter of my own to truly understand the complete impact of my actions.
My Dad is in his late 60’s, and I’m in my early 40’s. We’re so different in how our lives are being lived but I find that we get along much better now than we ever have in our past. He recognizes that I’m an adult and made a life for myself and I recognize that without him along the way, I wouldn’t be the man who I turned out to be by any measure. He is the rock that I used to build my life’s base on top of; the foundation that made the building of my life possible. He reads the pieces I post to Eat Pray Vote and I hope that he reads this one as well. So many of the people who I know take for granted the time they have with their parents. I know their time with me is finite, that is after all what life is about. Even though I don’t talk to my Dad that much, and there are times that introversion rears its ugly head, the time I do spend with him is important. We used to fight a lot, I would get angry at him or the situation. That has passed as my understanding and experience has allowed me to see him through different eyes. Yeah, we don’t always agree, but that is ok. Disagreement is how problems ultimately get solves in most situations.
I want to wish my Dad a Happy Father’s Day! We’ll be sharing bagels and coffee at my brother’s house really soon. My wish to all is that you take the finite time you have with your parents and make the best of it; regret is hard to live with. I want to wish every father a Happy Fathers Day as well, we can’t do it without you all.