Happy Father’s Day

June 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm 2 comments

He was the guy who treaded water beside me when I was trying to learn how to water ski. He was willing, even hoping, to be left behind if I succeeded. The bestest Life Preserver of all. My Dad.

I am just returned home from a celebration in the house where I grew up. Called my Dad, like always, to say I got home safe and said Happy Father’s Day one more time while trying to communicate in those few words a million thank-yous and I-love-yous deserved by the Greatest Dad in the World. Here are just a few reasons:

1. Getting tucked in with a hilarious made up bedtime tale (that featured three children very like my brother and sister and I) or a lullaby on the harmonica.

2. Dad, running behind my bike the first time the training wheels were off. Holding onto the seat and then just pretending to be holding onto the seat.

3. Sitting on the front porch next to my Dad on a summer evening, just to sit on the front porch to enjoy the summer evening next to my Dad.

4. Sitting me down, after some sibling fuss, to tell me that someday I wouldn’t see them every day, that someday I would miss them.

5. Father-Daughter trips to go camping, canoeing, or backpacking. Including the last one when it began to rain as we stepped out of the truck and didn’t stop. Everything so wet we couldn’t even light a fire. And we still had a great time.

6. Packing and unpacking and getting me to and from college twice a year for four years. (Not to mention he was paying the bill for me to be at college.) (And definitely to mention his complete and unhesitating support when I made the Great Big Decision to change majors for the love of writing.)

7. Taking me to buy my first car and then doing miracles to help keep the Mustang running for the next 13 years.

8. Fixing everything that ever broke in apartments and house, from appliances to screen doors. Including dropping everything to come over, as it got dark, to undo and redo the wiring in the kitchen light and the dining room light. I had foolishly attempted this task on my own, which left me with one light that wouldn’t turn on and one light that wouldn’t turn off.

9. Saving me from getting as close as I ever want to get to a nervous breakdown. Dad’s have a way of making problems disappear, even big, strange, stressful problems like a gigantic hole in your house.

10. For lifting me up 48 years ago for the first time and never putting me down or letting me down for even a moment since.

Each year on my Birthday and occasionally on Father’s Day, too, my Dad re-tells the story of the day I was born. He gets such a smile on his face as he pantomimes and retells how he was standing, as new fathers did back then, looking through the glass at the hospital nursery, when the doctor held me up and said, “Mister Schmidt, you got a redhead.” I like to think I smiled back.

Happy Father’s Day Dad.

Entry filed under: Life Preservers.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ruth  |  June 20, 2011 at 7:54 am



  • 2. Valezma  |  June 22, 2011 at 2:49 am

    What a delight to read this. So many “Daddy wounds” out there, we forget the good stuf.

    I’ve learned that I got the Dad I needed: one who made few demands, shaped my sense of humor, and best of all, gave me a love for reading.

    I also got the “thinker” gene from him.

    Cheers to them all!



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