Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

When I arrived at church today (Gunnar and I went alone, John had to work...) I didn't notice the adorable family I sat in front of until Gunnar started chatting and smiling at them.  Behind us sat two dads with their two teenage sons. What a lovely site to see on this father's day...and I just thought how lucky those boys are to have not one but two loving fathers.

My mind immediately retreated to a beautiful young 12 year old girl who I met last year when interviewing for a show I was working on.  This beautiful girl happened to be pregnant...at 12. If there was one thing I could wish for this sad and beautiful soul it would be to give her a loving, caring and doting father figure. Because I'm convinced her lack of such father figure is part of what led her to that classroom for pregnant middle school girls. I remember wishing she could meet my husband or my dad as she cried about her own father who was in prison for raping a girl about her age. I wished she could know there are good men, caring and wonderful men out there...not all men are jerks like the countless boyfriends who beat her mother or the boyfriend who wanted nothing to do with her once he found out she was pregnant. Meeting a helpless child like this makes an imprint on ones heart...and has made me even more thankful for having such a loving and devoted father.

I have a pretty cool dad. He's the dad that cooks...and loves to (and why my sister and I found and married men who cook so we don't have to!).  When I was eight my dad and I took a roadtrip to California together for my cousin Ty's high school graduation. He took me to Disneyland for a day...and despite the fact that I didn't want to go on any fast/"scary" rides...my dad found a way to get me to go on Splash Mountain. He said "if you HATE it...I will buy you whatever you want in Disneyland...BUT if you LOVE it...I will buy you a Brer Rabbit (the main character of the ride)...this sounded like a good deal to me and I was convinced I'd hate it so I was already thinking about what I'd want to get.  But to my surprise, I loved the ride...got my Brer Rabbit and asked if we could go again! (That Brer Rabbit is the only stuffed animal I asked my mom to save when she packed up my childhood room.) I always laugh when I hear the song "Shine" by Collective Soul...I'll never forget how my dad would roll down all the windows in the BMW (not ours, we were car-sitting for Aunt Sam) crank up the volume as loud as it would go and drum on the steering wheel whenever that song came on the radio. I remember how patient and calm he was when he took me out to the race track parking lot to teach me how to drive... Or when he flew out to meet me in Florence to help me travel to the second part of my study abroad program in London. We spent a week traveling through Italy, Switzerland, France and then England. I was turning 21 in a few weeks but he bought me a Smirnoff Ice at a pub in London to celebrate early.

My plan was to call my dad after Brunch and wish him a happy father's day...but he beat me to it. Before brunch I found an email from dad in my inbox that brought tears to my eyes.  I want to share part of what he sent ME and MY SISTER on father's day:

...it occurred to me 
once again I have gone way to long without telling both of you how proud I 
am to be you father - as a dad, I have always hoped and worked to make sure 
you were responsible and reliable plus hoped you would pursue your dreams and 
passions - mom and I have wondered often how we were so lucky with you two 
as our offspring.  We are thrilled about your parenting (and your spouses too!) and 
I am filled with pride when someone asks about each of you - I don't try to go over 
board with details but at times that happens.  Then I realize I can easily gush about 
each of you and your families with many different folks, but seldom do with the two 
most important people mom and I know  -   so keep on being who you are and know 
the very best any dad could wish for is to have daughters like I do!!  And what grandsons 
too - wow - it is like the daily double twice!!!!   
Love you both - hope all is going well in IL and CA or NV!
Dad

I look forward to watching Gunnar develop a similar bond with his daddy...though I know it will be different. Father/son dynamics are a different animal, I suppose. But John is already proving to be a doting dad and I couldn't ask for a better partner in raising children. He helps out around the house without being asked (amazing!) and loves to spend every waking minute with Gunnar when he gets home from work. It's only fitting that Gunnar spent the day saying "Dadda".  He has a great one.

Happy Father's Day to all the amazing father's of the world. But most especially to my daddy and Gunnar's "dadda"...I love you so much!

1 comment:

  1. Love this post Kirstin! Yay for great daddies!

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