In just a few hours I’ll be getting together with the family to celebrate Father’s Day. Dad’s already gotten his gift from me – a new desk chair that rolls, to replace the folding chair he normally sits in when he is concentrating on his Bible studies. He’s always kidded my mom that he should never have let her have his old desk chair, which sits well and rolls around the room, so now he has one of his own and me to thank for it
The family got a bit of a scare yesterday over my dad. He was walking the circle in the neighborhood he and mom live in, when a neighbor’s 4 dogs started chasing him. My dad is in his early 60s and has hip and back problems, so the running it took for him – and the fall he sustained in a ditch – whild trying to get away from the dogs, made him really sore yesterday afternoon. He got really lucky in that only one of the dogs bit at him and only got a mouthful of jeans. By that point the owner of the dogs had caught up with her dogs and called them off as they were circling my dad as he lay in the ditch. The witch had the nerve to say “got your blood pumping, eh?” to which my dad responded, “it’s not my blood pumping you have to worry about – it’s my attitude.” He told her that he was going to call animal control, which he did, and they arrived a short time later.
Come to find out, according to the policeman who answered the call, the lady – who is new to the neighborhood – is “very familiar with animal control laws” meaning she’s been in this situation before and apparently not learned her lesson. The officer went to tell her that she needed to keep her dogs on a leash if they were going to be outside and said that if anything happened to anyone in the neighborhood as a result of those dogs hurting someone, that she would be liable. Later, my dad found out that another family in the neighborhood had suffered a scare earlier in the week as well. Their three kids were out riding their bikes when the dogs came after them. Luckily, the kids got away because they were faster on their bikes than the dogs were on their legs.
Anyway, thankfully when all was said and done, dad was shaken up and a little sore more than anything. This afternoon after the Father’s Day festivities are over, I’m going to help him put the chair together, since he has a hard time sitting on the floor to do it. It’ll feel a little bit like role reversal, since he’s usually the one putting things together for me (we won’t get into the agonizing afternoon we spent trying to put up a ceiling fan in my dining room!) but I’m cool with it – it’s the least I can do for him. I only wish I could do more.
Before I repost my Father’s Day salute from last year, I wanted to point to a few links of interest as it relates to Dad’s Day that you might be interested in reading:
—– Make sure to check out this wonderful piece from author Tony Woodlief on what Father’s Day – and being a father to three sons – means to him. He pays tribute to raising sons with manly virtues, in spite of the fact that he himself wouldn’t be viewed as your ‘typical manly man’ by most people’s ‘manly standards’
—– Blogger Rick Rice links up to a Father’s Day greeting from a leftie blogger that reeks of political correctness. A sampling from the PC greeting: “These fathers aren’t necessarily men- just as our Father in heaven is not a man.” Ugh …
—- On a much lighter – and happier – note, little Palmer Thibault (ain’t he cute?!), son of ST reader and neighbor in the next county over Justin Thibault, makes the special announcement that mama Thibault has another bundle of joy on the way. Congrats to the Thibault family! Love all the pix in that post, especially the one of their sweet little future arrival and the last one.
—– I would be remiss in not wishing all the fathers who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan who can’t be with their little ones today a Happy Father’s Day. Thank you and God bless you for all that you do.
—- Speaking of military dads, check out this especially stirring post from Blackfive about a retired military dad and veteran who is a man amongst men. **Awesome.**
A salute to fathers (Originally written on June 18, 2006)
In honor of Father’s Day, I’d like to take a moment to salute all you wonderful fathers out there – especially my own.
My dad cracks me up – I remember when I bought my car a few years ago, about a year after I bought it I had to take it in for some service work and while it was at the dealership, one of the mechanics called and told me I needed new front brakes. I said ok and told him to go ahead and change them out. On my way home from work that day, I called mom and dad just to say hi and while I was on the phone told my dad that in addition to the service work I had taken it in for, I had them put front brakes on my car as well. He got upset at the fact that I hadn’t told him I needed front brakes. I told him that I honestly didn’t know and that it was the dealership who told me that I needed them. He then told me that next time I needed front brakes, to call him and let him know and he’d put them on for me himself. I said “ok”.
So a couple years down the road, I alerted him that my front brakes were squeaking and needed to be changed. He groaned and grumbled about having to change them but he did. My mom told me her dad (my grandfather) was the same way. He’d grumble when he had to do work on her car, but would be outraged if she took it to someone else to get the work done LOL
The last couple of years my dad’s health has been so that I haven’t wanted to ask him to do any heavy work on my car. I told him so. He’s been a blue collar worker his whole life, working on machines, cars, and tractor trailers and it’s started to take it’s toll on his muscles and joints. I told him I didn’t mind if he wanted to change the oil on my car, but for anything bigger than that I was going to take the car to a mechanic to get the work done because I didn’t want him to get hurt doing any work on my car that would cause him pain later. When we had that talk, for the first time in my life I could see the resignation in my dad’s eyes that he couldn’t do everything he used to do because he would hurt from doing it. I know that had to be hard for my dad to accept, because – even though he would grumble about doing things around the house that my mom needed him to do, or gripe at having to do work on our cars – he wanted to have the ability to still do it. Heck, we’ve all been that way. When we get older there are certain things we did even five years ago that we can no longer do. For a father who enjoyed – even though he wouldn’t admit it – taking care of the ‘manly’ things that the women of the house couldn’t do, I’m sure the realization that he couldn’t do certain things like he used to was a bitter pill to swallow.
My dad’s job is a tractor trailer mechanic, so he is still working on them – but once he’s off the clock mom and I dont ask him to do work on our cars anymore. But he always wants to know if there are any problems so he can ‘inspect’ the car to see what it is so when we take them in for repairs the mechanics don’t pull a fast one and start adding on stuff.
Dad helps me out in a different way now – the way he did before I started driving. He’ll come over and fix things I have broken or messed up, he’ll install blinds for me, he fixed my bedroom closet door, and just last week recommended some solutions for my ant problem. When we talk on the phone now, he’s always asking me “Are your doors locked?” “Yes dad.” “Is your alarm set?” “Yes, dad.”
Dads never stop helping their kids – whether it’s manual labor they do, or making sure they’re locked in safely in their house. As a daughter, I can’t put into words how knowing my dad cares about me and love me makes me feel confident as well as safe. Even though my dad can’t do some of the things he used to do, he’s found different ways to still be a dad and it’s worked out fine. But most importantly, it’s not about what dad can literally do for you. It’s knowing that he cares and loves you enough to worry about you and do those things that means the most.
It used to be that my dad was one of those hold-back-on-showing-tender-emotion types who rarely ever said “I love you.” For years, I’d say to him every now and then, “Dad, how come you never tell me you love me?” And he’d always answer “You know I love you – I don’t have to say it.” It’s only been in the last seven or so years that he has been saying those words regularly to me that I always wanted to hear: “I love you.”
I love you, too, dad. Happy Father’s Day.