The things I'll remember about my father

Sunday, June 19, 2011

When I was just 2 or 3 months old, my father was sent
on a business trip to Scandinavia. He spent close to a
month there and dragged this huge doll (she's wearing
my old clothes) back on the plane with him from
Copenhagen, Denmark to New York City for me.
It's Father's Day ... I don't really have much to say about my father on this day -- not because I don't have a good relationship with him, but because he is such a great father that I don't think words could capture the appreciation I have for him. What I do have are memories.

I remember times in my early youth when, in the dark and quiet of my room at night, I would cry because I was so aware of what my father sacrificed for me. (I was a bit morbid as a child.) It's heartbreaking to think of it now, because I was far too young to be so worried and feel so indebted to my father for small things. One random Tuesday or Wednesday, he pulled me out of school early to take me out for lunch and to see "Beauty and the Beast." We missed the beginning of the movie because we were so busy enjoying the best turkey sandwiches ever, so we laid low after the movie was over and stayed in the theatre until the next showing started.

I have an even earlier memory of my father picking me up from preschool because my mother couldn't, when I was 3 or 4. He had to leave work early, and on the ride home, we drove through some hilly areas. At the top of one hill, he let go of the steering wheel and fooled me into thinking he didn't have his foot on the brake pedal. I remember laughing with glee and thinking my father was just the best.

Taylor Swift wrote a song for her mother on her "Fearless" album called "The Best Day" (which I think I also posted in my Mother's Day entry). That song reminds me not of my mother, but of my father, because so many of my best childhood memories are with him. My father was the one who brought me to the movies, who sat with me through what must've been the dullest plotlines ever, who drove me to and from piano lessons, ice skating classes, dance recitals and friends' homes.

Sometimes, when I stop to think about it, I worry that my respect, admiration and appreciation for my father never shows and that he will never know how grateful I am for him. If I ever become a mother, I hope I am even a fraction as patient or giving with my children as my father has been with me. We're not a family of grand gestures or deep confessions, so I try every day to reciprocate the love that he has shown me and I hope that my actions say what I cannot.

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