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Okay, okay, stay with me here. I mean, how could I possibly start off my Father’s Day post without a dad joke? Or two? What can I say, I learned from the best – Dad and dad joke-teller.
If you have never had the good fortune of meeting my Father, you should know he is a goofball and a master of dad jokes. He is also quite capable of using these traits as cover for his sarcastic side.
Maybe as a child and definitely as a teenager, I did not always appreciate my Father’s sense of humour. For example, if you asked my Father where he was going, he would respond with “Crazy. Want to come?”
Usually, I pointed out he was already there, and he would blame me for driving him there in the first place.
Or if I called him out on his weirdness, he would respond with “I get it from you” and I would explain that genetics work the other way.
In summary, you have my full permission to blame my Father for my sass and my weird sense of humour. (If you have ever read Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee, which my Father read to my brother and I frequently, you can tell where our twisted wit comes from).
Despite his occasional non-answers (like those listed above), I do not recall him ever using the parental standard of “Because I said so.” But what I do remember are his lessons in logic and wisdom.
When I was a relatively young child, I had an existential crisis. My childish brain was stuck and could not unwrap the frustrating need to understand a mystery I have still not entirely solved. It was the ongoing questions of who I was, why I was the way I was, what made me different from anybody else, and what was making me have these thoughts versus what or how other people were thinking. Essentially, what made me ‘me’ instead of someone else. It spiraled from there.
I could not turn off this cyclical thought process in my brain and it was infuriating. I had clumsily tried to explain my problem to my Father. I unfortunately do not remember what he said in response but whatever it was, I remember those thoughts faded from the main focus of my consciousness. My mind had been put at ease.
Maybe what my Father had said was similar to the words of wisdom he imparted on my brother and I when he was teaching us how to drive:
Unsurprisingly, just like the ‘genius’ of dad jokes, this little gem has more than one meaning. Staying calm and being brave is good advice in almost any circumstances; and in life, the signs you wait for do not have to be literal road signs.
I’m unsure where this saying came from, maybe it came from another one of my Father’s non-answers: Dad School. Apparently, all fathers or soon-to-be fathers (he was never clear on the logistics) went to a Dad School to learn how to be a father.
Whether my Father actually attended ‘Dad School’ or his parenting style was naturally acquired, there are not enough fathers in the world like him. And I am extraordinarily lucky that I have the father I do have.
The book I Love My Daddy Because… by Laurel Porter-Gaylord was one of the many books read to my brother and I growing up. In the book, almost each page explains a reason why the child loves their father – only 16 listed in total. I image the author had to cut down their initial number. Because if I had to write a similar children’s book for all the reasons I love my father, I would have to divide it into multiple volumes or it would threaten to become a massive tome.
But I believe the following quote says it the best:
“We know you’ve loved us since we were born, but we’ve loved you our entire lives.”
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!