Monday, June 20, 2011

Color My World

So yesterday was Father's Day! Hope you aren't reading this and realizing that fact for the first time, or else you're in for an awkward phone call today...

I didn't have the privilege of spending the day with my Pop, but instead spent the day thinking about the leading role he's played in my life.

Our first father's day ... That pie looks DELICIOUS.

I remember when I was younger, I caught part of an Oprah episode about fathers. Something about this particular show must have hit me funny because it's odd that I remember it. The psychology was that fathers are like shadows, coming and going in an unpredictable way, hard to know, impossible to count on. Like a void, there is an empty space inside all of us and that empty space is reserved for the ghosts that are our fathers. 

I think the reason I've held onto this is because the idea left me feeling frightened, and dismayed, even at such a young age -- or maybe especially since I was young. I never felt that way about my dad, and it was traumatic that so many kids could feel this way. There these kids were, just a mess on Oprah's couch, about the empty spot where a father should be. 

At first I might have found this scary - as in, should I be worried my dad is going to leave a big black question mark space like these kids' have? 

Pretty sure I quickly realized this wouldn't be the case for me, but I think that moment turned my dear dad's presence into a tangible thing. His existence in my house transfigured itself from a given, to a blessing. 

I wouldn't say I have the easiest daddy-o to know, as he stays a little mysterious, but one thing he has always made no bones about is his love for us kids. I sometimes like to selfishly believe he loved me best, when I hear stories of our first few years together. Being the oldest and his first little nugget, his only girl, it wasn't long before me and my bald head had Stevo wrapped around the finger. I find myself hoping that in the distant future (read: DISTANT), John & I have a little girl baby first for the very same reasons. 

 I like hearing stories about those days, like his insistence on taking me absolutely everywhere, even errands like Home Depot. I like the fact that there are hours and hours of video my dad shot of my peanut self just lying on the carpet, as he narrated, "Stephaniee! Stephanieeeee! Hello Stephanieeee!!" (Literally, that's all it is.) 

No, my father has been no shadow in my life, and instead has filled me up with pieces of himself. 

Out of all of the gifts my dad has infused in me (Steely Dan & College Football also in the running), his sense of humor and overall perspective on life are morsels I appreciate the very most. Via brainwave osmosis, Stevo has managed to show me that laughing at life is the wisest approach 95% of the time. He steps back and sees the big picture, understanding and just knowing that the puzzle comes together on its own. 

"Just have a beer and go for a run." - My Dad.

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