Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reason #7,583 That I Love My Dad

It’s Father’s Day and I have racked my brain trying to come up with gift ideas for both my dad and Hugh. So far, I have drawn a total blank. Hugh has every tool, electronic gizmo, piece of sporting equipment, etc. that he could ever hope to use and Dad is in pretty much the same position. Time to get creative, I suppose.

On one hand, I could order my Dad some Omaha Steaks and call it good; the man truly does love his meat (I just re-read that sentence and it sounded totally perverted. I wasn’t even trying! Ba, da, dum!).

On the other hand, considering his two heart attacks, the stint in his heart, and his bad knees; I think I would be doing us both a favor if I skipped the gift of cow flesh. After all, I would like to keep him around for as long as possible and, who could blame me; my dad is the perfect dad and I have examples to prove it.

When I was in eighth grade I was on the girls’ basketball team. Why? I do not know. I suck at the sporting endeavors ever so much. But, my dad was waayy into the whole athletics as a character building exercise, etc., etc. and I was waayy into the idea of making the daddy proud, so I gave it a shot.

A few weeks before our first game I had a blow-out in my sneakers. I saw it as an omen that I should give up my spot on the team, my friends, however, were adamant that I just needed new shoes. Not just any shoes, either; high-top Nikes, white with a red Nike swoosh.

These were the shoes that would kick my basketball career into high gear (because high-top Nikes trump natural athletic ability. Obviously) and, eighth grade girls being what they are, the peer pressure was on. I simply HAD To HAVE those shoes. Never mind that they were only available in the sporting goods store seventeen miles away and that they cost a small fortune. They WOULD be mine!

My sudden desperation for those sneakers must have convinced Dad that I had finally experienced my sporting epiphany! Surely, if you want the wardrobe, you must be interested in the game! Hallelujah, I was coming around! However, while Dad made a good living and we didn’t want for much, those shoes were expensive. Dad was going to have to get creative if he wanted me to have them in time for the first game.

The weeks came and went and, no shoes. I was starting to panic; I NEEDED those shoes to make me a star!

The night before the game, Dad went to his weekly card game at The American Legion. I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be wearing new shoes for the game. I would not be a star; I would be an outcast among my peers, forever to be known as the girl in the ripped sneakers.

Are you feeling sorry for me yet? If not, no worries, at that point I was feeling sorry enough for myself for myself for both of us.

At three o’clock in the morning Dad woke me up. As usual, he had played a game of cards with his friend. The friend who just happened to own the sporting goods store. They hadn’t been playing for money that night, and my dad won big. He was so proud when he handed over that box; he took each shoe out and held it up as though worshipping the Holy Grail. We bonded over those shoes, my friends!

Of course I wore them at the game the next day. I got blisters on both heels and, shockingly, was not magically transformed into a natural athlete. In fact, I sucked. But, damn, was I proud of those shoes.

And, even though I sucked, I stuck it out for the whole season.

I think Dad was quite proud too although; I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because of the shoes.

So, you see why I love my Dad so much.

And, if I could just think of a Father’s Day gift that would mean as much to him as those freaking sneakers meant to me, I would be all set but; something tells me I could search my whole life for a gift as special and still come up short.

Thanks, Dad. Thanks for being the dad who went the extra mile for a moody, hypersensitive kid with no natural athletic ability and greasy hair. A kid who probably didn't even say "thank you" (what?! I was thirteen!).

Thank you, Dad.

Happy Father’s Day.

And, I love you.


  1. I went for homemade gifts this year. I traced and cut out the kids' hands and glued them to a strip of paper. On the paper, I stamped A HUG FROM US TO YOU. Peyton added and kisss. ha ha yes, with the extra s.

  2. I love the sneakers story. Your dad is great!!