Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day.


A brand new Dad - mine!

Whenever I put on a white blouse, I think of my dad.

I’ve always wanted to be like my mother, but it is my father's approval I have sought most of my life. I suspect this is true of many women.

When I was growing up, my stay-at-home mom was a more constant presence in my life than my father.  She was always there, supporting us through everything.  My dad traveled quite a bit for work, but when he was home, he was always very present.  He was with us for most of the important stuff, beginning with a premonition that he should hurry home from the oil fields the day my twin sister and I were born, six weeks early.  Perhaps though, it was his absences that made my sisters and I appreciate him so much, and compete for his attention and approval.


My dad became the father of  2 girls - and doubled that!

My dad has always had wonderful stories to tell, and it seemed like there was nothing he could not do. (I still sort of wonder if this isn't true!)  He was always great about helping us with any sort of math or science homework.  I remember receiving my first calculator as a gift - expensive at the time, but it felt like I had been given the crown jewels, because of the way he made me feel so smart for taking an advanced math class.  My dad’s exuberant approach to life has always had a way of making everything - our pets, the places we lived, the food we ate, our travels, and even our day-to-day lives seem extra-ordinary.  His enthusiasm and pride in his family made us feel special too.

My father had high expectations for us, and high standards to live up to.  (Never cut the bread crooked, don't leave crumbs in the butter, bacon should be crisp, don't burn the toast and if you dry two plates at a time, you can get the dishes done more efficiently! And that is just what I learned during breakfast!)  My father taught me by example the value of making the most of every moment.  His voice is often the one I write with; the one you hear in this blog!

I've always been told I "have my father's eyes" - but I'd like to think there is a lot more of him in me than that!
Many of the compliments I received from my father stuck with me over the years, and went a long way towards building my self-esteem.  In fifth grade, my class raised enough money to go on a short ride in an airplane. The purpose of the trip is forgotten - perhaps to gain an aerial view of the topography of our province?  My father's assessment of me at the time remains clear in my memory though.  My classmates were all scared about air-sickness. My father scoffed and told me not to worry, as I was a seasoned traveler, having ridden on planes numerous times to visit relatives.  "A seasoned traveler - me?" Wow, I never thought of myself that way before, but oh my, did I feel unique then!"  Those sorts of compliments were abundant over the years, and contributed to my concept of who I was and who I could become.

Oh, and the white blouse?  It was just an off-handed comment, but once when I was in high school my father complimented my appearance, and told me "A white blouse always looks so nice on you." He has surely forgotten ever saying this, but I never did. It made many years of wearing a white nursing uniform every day a little easier!  (Come to think of it, I was wearing white the day I met my husband - maybe fathers do know best!)

My relationship with my father has always been very good, but not perfect of course.  There are subjects upon which we have always disagreed.  I have disappointed him, and he has disappointed me. But I have always known how much he loves me, and how proud he is of me.  There could not be a greater gift. I think he knows I feel the same about him.

There is a saying that women grow up to be like their mothers, but marry their fathers.  My husband and my dad are different in many ways, but I learned from my father how to know a good man when I met one. Both my husband (father of my children) and my father-in-law belong firmly in that category.  My children and I are so lucky to have all three of these wonderful fathers in our lives.

Happy Father's Day!


12 comments :

  1. Beautiful...thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this Marisa. It was fun to write.

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  2. What a wonderful tribute to your father! He seems like a great man. I love the recent picture of you together. Isn't it funny how a small compliment can stay with us for so many years?

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    1. I think he is pretty great! :
      I can't help but hope my children remember my compliments, in years to come.

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  3. Beatuful tribute to your father. As you know I write about my mother all the time on my blog and one of the biggest reasons is how good it makes her feel. Where the posts are about "*her" I read all the comments to her. It always makes her smile and laugh. I noticed you said you were a twin. I just found out today that my daughter is having twins!

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    1. Thank you Rena. Your posts are a wonderful gift to your mother, I am sure. Congratulations to you and your daughter on her exciting news! People used to ask me if I liked being a twin, and I always replied that I didn't know what it would be like to not be one. But, truthfully, I am glad that I am!

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  4. It's true what you say about the influence fathers have on their daughters. My father hated when we wore red. He was an artist and his favorite color was olive green. When I wear bright colors I receive compliments from everyone else, but even at age 60, I still feel rebellious when I do so.

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    1. Hi Suzanne. Thanks for commenting. My dad doesn't have an opinion about red - but none of his four daughters were dressed in pink!

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  5. Hi Susan! I commented from my ipad last night and I don't think it went through. I wasn't sure at the time though. Anyway, I didn't know you are a twin. I love the picture of your dad holding you and your sister. We have identical twin girls and I'm always interested in twin stories! :)

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    1. Hi Marie
      I thought from pictures on your blog that your younger girls were twins. I am an identical twin as well - and could tell you lots of stories!
      I would say the best thing my parents ever did was to encourage our individual choices, treat us as separate individuals, while still helping us to enjoy being twins. We have lived many miles apart since beginning college, but have remained very close at heart.
      From what I have learned of you from your blog, your kids are lucky to have you as their mom - and I am happy to have you as a new friend! Thanks for all your support since I have begun blogging!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks Darlene. It was written from my heart!

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Many thanks to everyone who leaves a comment here!