Well Father’s Day has come and gone, but I have yet to weigh in on the subject. And is it really a holiday until I ruin it with my blathering? No it is not. In fact, did Arbor day REALLY feel like Arbor day without my help? I didn’t think so.
So in honor of Father’s Day, I thought I’d give you guys a few memories of mine. I think it’s pretty necessary, considering when people who know me finally meet my dad, the response tends to be, “Ohhhhhh.” Follow me, and perhaps you’ll see why.
First of all, one of my personal favorites: Most people will agree, it is a father’s job to tell you lies to scare you into being good, a-la George Bluth’s armless friend.
And who among us hasn’t heard the phrase, “Be careful. If you swallow those seeds, a plant will grow in your stomach.”
My father’s story was a little different. When we asked him if it were true, if a plant really could grow in your stomach, he said, “Sure! All you have to do is drink a lot of water, swallow a lot of dirt, and walk around outside like this,” and he’d lean back and open his mouth as wide as he could. I have to say, I was never afraid of swallowing seeds. Although he really took a gamble assuming I wouldn’t try to consume spoonfuls of dirt. That’s faith.
I think the thing my dad is most famous for are his voices. When I was in Elementary school, we would have these “Read-In” days once a year. I have no idea if this is a nationwide thing, or if it was just our school, but basically we’d get to come to school in our pajamas and read the whole day. And throughout the day, parents would come in and read to us, too.
I am not saying this as an exaggeration; my dad was the Rock Star of the Read-Ins. I had some internal anguish because, on the one hand, everything your parents do is without question extremely embarrassing. But on the other hand, every kid in my class thought my dad was the coolest dad ever. He’d come in to read us The Twits, complete with Evil British Woman voice for Mrs. Twit (think The Queen but more gargly) and Evil British Man voice for Mr. Twit (think Brad Garrett playing a chimney sweep.) And it was awesome! Teachers would come from down the halls asking what the blazes was going on, possibly because a grown man was cackling in a woman’s voice that she just fed her husband worms. But I knew they were jealous. They were allllll jealous.
One final story. This one has become a family staple around Easter. The way we dye eggs in my household is the typical, Paas-endorsed way. You drop a tablet into some vinegar and then soak those puppies. And if you want to get fancy, you draw something on the egg with a white crayon first, which the die doesn’t touch and leaves the egg white in that spot.
Well one year, I had come home from college for the holiday and we decided to dye some eggs. We gave one egg to my dad to decorate. He picked up a crayon, scribbled something, and left the egg to soak in green.
A little while later, he took out the egg and, giggling, showed it to us all. It said something, but I couldn’t make it out.
Finally, Hannah guessed it. “…Zakly?”
My dad: “Yep!...Egg-zakly!”
Groans all around. And yet, memorable enough that we talk about it every year since. So you tell me: genius?
So Happy Father’s Day to all. And here’s hoping, no matter who or where your dad is, that you have some good memories of your own to look back on.