Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Farter’s Day

Did you think I forgot the H? Wellllll, I didn’t. Growing up, my father was never shy about letting one loose around our home. There was no shame in his game, even though he was flanked by females; three daughters and one wife (my dad is not a polygamist, whew!).
In addition to being raised with the old “pull my finger” line from a very early age, my dad treated his three girls more like boys on occasion and I think we are the better for it. My dad was like having a playmate around 24/7. He loved to throw the Frisbee on the beach and baseball in the front yard, taught us to play backgammon and gin rummy (and didn’t let us win), haul us to the beach and throw us around in the ocean (“You’re going down to Davie Jones’ locker”), ride our bikes to the marina and get Hostess cinnamon roles heated up in a microwave (a very modern invention in 1973). He bought us the cool boy toys like Stretch Armstrong, remote-control racecars, pogo sticks, unicycles, home-made stilts and go-karts,  and the coupe de gras, an electric racetrack (we loved cleaning the tires the most).

When I was 12, Dad took me on a father-son hike/camping trip to the Chocolate Lakes in the Sierras, where I was the only girl among six guys; a treasured memory of our father-son times together. When you don’t have a son to take, it made perfect sense to take his daughter. No way he was going to miss a dude’s weekend away, even if there were kids there. When I was twelve he let me try one of his cigarettes and I just about gagged by the horrible smell and bad feeling after one puff. Thanks to that experience, cigarettes turned me off. He is wise without even trying to be.

I remember Dad coming home from work in his blue shorts, t-shirt and long white socks, standing in the kitchen and without hesitation lift one leg with his hand in gun mode and, well, you get the rest. At ten years old, THIS was some funny stuff and as I write this there is a smile on my face, so it could not have been as bad as it sounds. On most days though, Miss Piggy and I (Cutie-Pie wasn’t born yet) would each sit on one of his feet, hang onto a knee and he’d walk us around the house making Big Foot sounds while we cracked up! We looked forward to Dad walking in the door at the end of the day and even though he was exhausted from the physical work he did at his precision sheet metal manufacturing business, he always made time to play with us immediately upon walking in the door.

As I grew up, I realized that not every father was so much fun or so casually treated the bodily functions that we all have. Girls talk. As I went to high school, then college and spent time in others homes, I realized that some families NEVER farted around one another, and some barely made dinner conversation, which by the way in our home was never a problem. Loud dinner conversations in our Italian home were normally filled with large hand gestures and yummy food. I had a friend who claimed that she and her sisters (another no-boy household) had never even heard her dad break wind. What!? How is that possible in a house full of human beings? Not surprisingly, this was a formal, polite family. Which is nice, but these girls didn’t have the good toys or fun-loving dad like I did.
After reading this you might thing that I was raised by Homer Simpson or Fred Flintstone. That is not so. My dad was and still is highly responsible, extremely hard working, honest, loyal, devoted, generous and loving in his own special way. Why just last week when my unicycle tire popped, it was my dad who drove Blanche to the bike shop and paid to have the tube replaced. My Dad just completed a four-month building project with his two grandsons named “Fort Fort” that sits in our backyard. It is a two-story clubhouse (boys only), funded and built with grandpa, one nail at a time. I’m glad he finally has some boys his own age to play with. When our house caught fire while we were on vacation, it was my Dad who called 911 and saved our home from burning to the ground. I could go on and on with the warm memories and unique life touch that my dad has given me through the years. Little did I know that my Dad would have trained me so well for life in a household of all boys! I am now the odd-man-out (so to speak), living with my husband and two sons. I know how you felt, Dad...and I'm probably teaching my boys a bit about how girls think. I hope it prepares them well, too.

My Pops was and is the Best Dad in the whole wide world and I would not want him to be any other way than his extraordinary, fun self.

Happy Farter’s day dad, I love you!

3 comments:

liz said...

I would never want to be part of a family who wasn't comfortable enough to fart around one another!

Oh, and I had to do a double-take at your title at first! Ha!

Cheeseboy said...

After reading this I've decided your dad must have been a hero, one cool dude and had an amazing wardrobe. Also, that clubhouse is killer cool!

JenM said...

Seriously LOVING the family photos. So cute, so cute! And if farting is the yardstick by which we'll measure how great our dads are, mine surely must be giving L some competition. <3