Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thoughts on Father's Day

Father's Day. Dad always shunned this day as one made up to sell greeting cards. But I don't mind saying that I certainly believe Dads should get at least one day of recognition for the hard work they put into being a father...and my Dad certainly is deserving of such recognition. Some thoughts came to me today as I went about my normal Saturday business.

Me (6-7 years old, at the Pond House in New Bedford, MA, in the row boat, "the Checkerberry"): Dad, I'm afraid to swim.
Dad: Just jump in and you will float…you can get to the shore.
Me: Dad, I'm afraid.
Dad: Just jump in... you'll be fine. See, Jeannie is doing it.
Me: OK... but I don't think I can do it.....

As I struggled to make my way to the shore, crying the whole way, swallowing water as I went, I was sure I would drown. But I made it to the shore and, once on shore I let out a HUGE belch and was instantly proud of my accomplishment.

Jeannie, my sister one year older, laughed and asked why I didn't just walk in..... apparently, the water was pretty never occurred to me to try to touch my feet to the bottom... I did learn to swim, albeit doggy style, that day.

Me (age 9): Dad, I want to play the violin. Will you sign the permission slip so I can?
Dad (after inquiring of my sister why she hadn't asked to play a musical instrument in fourth grade): Yes, you can learn to play the violin.
Me: Will I get my own violin?
Dad: Not yet. You will need to show promise before we buy a violin...we will rent one for you for the first year
Me: OK, but why does Jeannie get her own flute?
Dad: Because Jeannie will practice. We need to see if you will practice before we buy a violin...they are very expensive.
6 months later, at the violin shop to get my bow re-haired.
Dad to Mr. Gault: How much would you charge me to make a violin for Judy?
Mr. Gault: For $100, I’ll provide you the wood and teach you how to make the violin.

For the next two-three months, Dad and I worked on that violin under Mr. Gault’s direction, every Saturday, and for my 10th birthday, I got my violin… I guess I “showed promise” after all.

Me (14 years old on Christmas Day upon watching my sister open her gift of a brand spanking new sewing machine): Dad, Can I get a sewing machine?
Dad: Jeannie will share with you. If you show promise, you can get your own sewing machine.

For the next three years, I sewed nearly every day, on my mother’s ancient, knee-controlled Singer, paying my sister 10 cents a button hole for her to do my button holes on her machine… that’s sharing, right?

Me (17 years old, Christmas morning, as I am presented the last gift – an envelope from the tree): Dad! An IOU for a sewing machine when they go on sale after Christmas!!!! Thank you!
Dad: We’ll go shopping when the sales start.

Me (22 years old, as I met Dad on the driveway when he arrived home from work, my little Chevy Monza packed and ready for a road trip.): Dad, James and I have decided we are going to move to Florida.
Dad: I’m not sure this is the smartest move you could make.
Me: Dad, since when did you ever accuse me of making the smartest moves?
Dad: I don’t think I gave you a birthday present. I’d like you to get new tires on the car before you go.
Me: Thank you Dad!

Yes, I learned lessons every step of the way from you Dad, and through all of it I knew you were always there, ready to help me be the best I could be, and letting me learn to survive, when I was determined to do things my way. For these and so many other things, I thank you Dad…today and every day!

Judy Singing With Dad

No comments: