Father's Day 2009: Call it a Halmark Moment if You Must…

hpim2755There’s probably not a lot (positive wise) you can say about your dad without seeming schmultzy. I mean, Father’s Day is full of cards, books, mugs, ties, inspiring calendars and various other dust-collecting knick-knacks that experess deep sentiment in new cliches. Sometimes that makes it hard to really get to the heart of why one man deserves the respect, honor and admiration of his offspring. The dad job isn’t an easy one, for all of their life (or more) you’re the hero your child looks up to.

Dads have a profound impact on their kids. Look at the various TV shows, movies, books and songs written about this phenomenon. Daddy issues or Daddy legacies shape most of those stories.

So when I sing the praises of my dad, know that I do so with the full realization that it might (at times) seem very Halmark-ian. I can’t help myself. For all his faults and all my faults, for all of the times I’ve been frustrated or disappointed, for all of the fights and friction: I adore my dad.

There are a couple reasons for this I believe. One is the universal truth that fathers and daughters have a special bond. Dad was always my “safe place”, when the world around me seemed utterly scary – Dad was there. I was his princess in a kingdom that seemed amazing and full of imagination and life and fun. And it seemed that way because my dad was always around. Dad was not afraid to play with us, hold us, hug us and tuck us into bed at night. He loved being with my sister and I. Even when he had worked a long, tiresome day at construction I remember him coming into my bedroom and kissing me goodnight. He never forgot.

The other reason I adore my father so much is that we are very much alike. Which of course also leads to most of the friction and annoyances with each other. We’re both veracious readers, we enjoy technology, we love to write, we’re both geeks (though our geekdom takes different forms) and we both have a natural leadership quality that can drive other people nuts. Of course, the one area we were fairly polar opposites on was my intense love of cats — but Tigger won him over (slightly) in the end.

Dad bought me my first Sherlock Holmes collection when I was 9 (my first fandom which lead to inspiring me to be a writer), he and my mom edited my first novel, they sent me to college and they continue to help make my dreams come true even as an adult. Recently my dad and I went to a WGA Writers on Writing panel together and enjoyed the entire evening together. Looking back I can see how special that is – being able to talk and interact without it being a weird situation (like a lot of adult children and their parents have).

My dad is still my hero. He works multiple jobs, loves my mom with an intensity that most married couples lose early on, and he strives to be a man of God. There’s a reason his Starbucks card says “Dr. Dad the Incredible”.

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