You can be a little weird…yet still be SUPER COOL.
This “lesson from dad” isn’t quite so serious…but it’s still pretty important. You see, my dad is one of the coolest people I know. But also…the weirdest. He taught me to be an individual, that it doesn’t matter what other people think, as long as you’re comfortable in your own skin.
And thanks in part to him, I am. Uh, maybe we ALL are…
So…on to the good stuff.
My dad’s wardrobe. Let’s start with the socks. I’m pretty sure the white socks he wore while we were growing up hit just centimeters below his kneecaps. He’d combine them with the shortest shorts in the neighborhood…a winning combination. From the outside, you’d think these socks were in pretty good shape; until he’d take off his shoes. I’m pretty sure that the hole at the bottom of the sock was as large as the one at the top. I’d bet money on the fact that he probably could have put those socks on upside down and no one have would noticed.
His toothpicks. To this day, he hardly can finish his meal without sticking a toothpick in his mouth. When I was little, he’d use the wooden kind. He was very specific about them…always round, NEVER square. (You toothpick eaters know what I’m talking about, right?) One minute, I’d look up and he’d have a brand new one in his hand; but when he was finished, you’d be lucky to get a splinter in your finger with what was left. I mean, he’d devour these things like they were going out of style. My mom finally made him use the plastic ones so he wouldn’t be digesting wood. Thank the Lord.
His interesting eating habits. Like, taking the leftover juice from the green beans, and pouring it over bread. He’d roll it up and look at my brother and I and watch us gag as he ate it like it was candy. But that wasn’t the worst…ever heard of braunschweiger? If you haven’t, no worries. It really shouldn’t even be classified as food. Maybe it’s a meat, maybe it’s a paste…I’m not quite sure. Saying it is meat is like saying Velveeta is cheese. Anyway, he’d pile it on crackers or bread until it was an inch thick. It was just not right.
But despite having his quirks…we always knew he was pretty much the most amazing dad ever.
And the older we got, the more we realized that even thought we might have the weirdest dad on the planet, he was also the COOLEST.
He’d come home every day after a long day at work and head right outside to play with us. Didn’t matter how tired he was or how much work he had to do that night…give him ten minutes and he’d be out of that tie and into those holey socks. And it wasn’t just us that noticed how much fun he was…all of the other kids in the neighborhood would come over to play, too. We didn’t mind other people “borrowing” our dad. He was worth it.
And, ahhh…the faking sleep days. I had it just right; I’d fall into the “deepest” sleep EVER just as we were getting home from the store, so dad would be forced to carry me upstairs. It was my best tactic. He’d pick me up and carry me all the way up to my bedroom. And just as he would lay me gently in my bed…yep, you guessed it. Time to fake wake up because I had to go to the bathroom. It worked like a charm. When I was little, I remember being so happy that I had tricked him into carrying me. Now, I look back and am so happy because I realize that I hadn’t…but he did it anyway.
I was quite the athlete when I was a kid. Seriously. Ok…not really. I loved lots of things, but didn’t have a competitive bone in my body, so it wasn’t rocket science that I wouldn’t likely go far with it. Nonetheless, knowing that I probably wasn’t going to be an Olympic gymnast didn’t stop him from building up that dream in my heart. He spent hours digging holes in our backyard, toiling over an awesome, wooden, balance beam that he built from scratch. Somehow he had the wisdom to build it just shy of a foot off the ground, even though I insisted I was ready for a regular one. When I got on that thing, it seemed MUCH higher….thanks dad. You were right.
He always had time to play with us…always. Whether it was at home, or on the road, we were always his number one priority. When we’d travel, he was the ONLY dad in the hotel swimming pool that got in with his kids. He would throw us in the air for hours and hours, until our lips were blue and we swore up and down that we were not that cold.
I love my dad….every single part of him. Especially the weird parts. It’s funny, because what used to be weird when I was little….is just COOL now. It’s what puts a smile on my face when I think of my dad, it’s what makes him unique and special, only to me. When I was younger, I used to worry about being weird. And now, the older I get, the more I pride myself in it.
Not sure if that’s because I like being different….or if, deep down inside, I really just like being like my dad.