Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In praise of Dads

On the lead-up to Father's Day, I tweeted for ideas on what to get my own Dad this weekend.

Now, Dad is pretty old-fashioned in his tastes, and he's nearly 80.

He's not a big fan of books, though he still reads the newspaper from cover to cover, and he already gets that home-delivered.

He kind of likes DVDs but has trouble working the DVD player.

He's got more than enough socks, and as for jocks? I don't really want to go there.

I'm thinking movie passes, or a voucher for dinner or coffees to enjoy with Mum.

But while I ponder a pressie, I thought I'd share some of my funny Dad moments:
  • When I was a thumb-sucking kid, Dad told me he'd sucked his own thumb off, which is why he had only a little stub where his thumb should be. He'd actually lost his thumb in a truck accident, but I didn't know that. I told my class at Show and Tell one day and got into trouble for making up stories!
  • Whenever he was driving dangerously or speeding (which was quite a lot), Mum would yell him to slow down. "It's okay, I used to be a racing car driver," he'd say. This too, I believed, and got another bollocking at school for telling lies.
  • Mum was more the disciplinarian in our family and Dad was the one we went to when we wanted to be allowed to do something controversial Mum didn't want us to do - like attend a school disco, spend time with 'wild' friends or members of the opposite sex, or play sport/do theatre rehearsals on Sundays. (Gasp!)
  • Dad was self-employed and a councillor, so was rarely at home when we were young. I doubt that he's ever changed a nappy in his life! But what he lacked in the childhood department he made up for when we were older. I remember him spending hours on the phone on my behalf to get me close-to-front-row seats to a Sting Concert when I was a teenager. This was in the old days when tickets for concerts could only ever be bought on the phone or physically in line. And he didn't even like Sting or The Police.
  • He was frequently the taxi driver when I wanted to go to social events before I could drive, and would come out at night to pick up my friends and I, and drop us safely home.
  • Throughout the years, he has held many serious burial services when beloved pets died, laying them gently to rest, covering the grave, allowing us to pay our respects and decorating the graves with flowers.  
  • He once knicked a traffic cone so I could put it in my room at uni, which earned me loads of street cred.
  • During my teenage fitness kicks, he would get up early to jog with me before breakfast, because he and Mum were worried a baddie would get me.
  • He's walked me down the aisle twice now, and has cried with me when those marriages have failed.
  • He gets emotional at family gatherings, especially if he gives a speech.
  • He frequently calls us by the wrong names ... it's a family joke and dammit if my siblings and I don't have the same problem now!
  • He loves a bargain ... something my eldest brother and I have inherited. Sometimes this is a good thing, and sometimes we curse it.
  • He's passionate about news, church, volunteer work, gardening, and politics. In fact, I'm pretty sure I became a journalist because I grew up reading the paper and watching news and current affairs shows. He still does this now, but has added junk mail (while scouring for bargains) to his reading of choice. 
  • He treats his miniature long-haired daschund Luther like a child.
  • He dotes on my Mum as well, forever getting cups of tea, and stacking/emptying the dishwasher
  • He's the go-to man in the community for people who don't have family to help them, regularly driving other oldies to medical appointments, shopping trips, or family events. He doesn't even ask for petrol money. 
  • He's a shameless, unpaid promoter for the South Burnett, where he was born and still lives.
We don't always understand each other, but I love my Dad and I know he loves me.

Does anyone else have Dad stories they want to share?

Supervising mode. Letting the kids dig for potatoes in his vegetable garden

Dad's furry baby Luther

Luther likes to help out in the garden

Mum and Dad. They've been married for 52 years!

More of the garden

Happy Father's Day!


Motorbikes_Lady said...

Some of my family have the same problem when I use to chat to dad he would start calling me my oldest daughters name or worse still mum's name.

I don't get on with my father & my hubby's father passed away at the start of 2006 so neither of us really have a father to celebrate fathers day with.

But Hubby does have a few pretend fathers which is cute.

(((( Hugs ))))

Anonymous said...

Your dad sounds awesome! Such a character! Especially love the story about why he didn't have a regular-sized thumb!!! As for what to get him... well a voucher for a night out is always nice! Spoil both him & your mother with a nice meal! Hope you have a good fathers day with him!

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Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

That's a great tribute to dads! Mine is mostly silent and non demonstrative but I know that he cares about me :)

Bronnie Marquardt said...

Thanks lovelies. Yeah Dad's a bit like that too Lorraine. He's only recently started saying 'love you' on the phone ... which usually means he's really worried about me. Bless xo