I’m a lot like my father.
Some of my earliest memories of my Dad revolve around music. My Dad had a TON of records. I believe that I was exposed to Pink Floyd while I was baking in my Mom’s oven. There is one picture, in particular, that I wish I had: it’s me as a baby [maybe 1 year old?] sitting on the floor in our living room with my Dad [who is sporting one of the most luxurious mustaches I’ve ever seen] and I’ve got on his enormous headphones with the jack plugged into his turntable. I can only guess that I was listening to Another Brick in the Wall. And to this day, I’ve always got a song in my head; usually one with lyrics that match my mood or the feel of my day. A theme song, if you will.
Dad has made me tapes, CDs, mini-discs and now he forwards me stuff from Pandora’s Box. He listens to all kinds of music every day.
A close rival memoryof my childhood is my Dad going out to run after work [approximately 4:30pm, weekdays], probably for about 5 miles [sometimes 3 on Mondays]. He ran on the weekends, too, but I can’t remember if it was the same time or not. It probably was, though. Talk about consistency. We would go and cheer him on as he ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon in all kinds of nasty weather. In the winter when the wind chill was below zero he would come back with icicles growing off of the said former luxurious mustache. We liked to laugh about that. Sometimes he would come home having fallen on the ice and sporting a bloody nose or a broken rib or a sprained ankle. That never stopped him from running the next day. To this day he finds it tough to take a day off of running. It means a lot to him. He says it gives him an endorphin rush.
I caught the running bug in a different way. It was gradual. I ran track in high school but was nothing special. In college I ran to decrease my stress and as my stress grew with my first job, then medical school, then residency, my mileage crept up and up and up. A few years ago, my Dad and I got to run in a marathon together. The weather was miserable [40s and pissing rain] and the terrain was pretty boring for the most part [Mt. Rushmore]. I would not have made it to the finish without him. He told me that he was waiting and hoping for so long that we could run a race like that together.
It meant a lot to me, too.
When I visit home or when he’s out here, we still try to run a few times. Of course, he is much fasther than me–the man qualified for Boston multiple times when he was in his 30s/40s. The way things are going for me, I won’t qualify for Boston until I’m 100 years old [qualifying times get longer as you age].
My Dad was also the “softie” parent sometimes. He’d let me off the hook if I didn’t “feel good” to go to school or to the gym after school and he’d say, “that’s ok–take a break.” What a relief that was sometimes. I’m not sure what he thought about us girls being competitive gymnasts. I bet he wished sometimes that one of us was a boy! Maybe not. It was just me, my sister, my Mom and Dad. A small but close family. My Dad’s role seemed to be comic. He is always making us laugh and the more we laugh the more he does whatever is the funny thing at the moment.
I do that sometimes, too. Even though it’s just me and hubs.
My Dad is also a planner. More precisely, a food planner. After his evening run, he would get cleaned up and then proceed to get everything ready for the next day: coffee maker cleaned and set for the morning–check; lunch made for next day–check. Then it became: lunch for my mom; then he added on a breakfast fruitbowl for my mom. He likes to be prepared.
Me,too. I make my breakfast and lunch for the next workday the night before every workday. This is tedious. But mostly worth it. I think it lowers anxiety. It’s something I can count on.
I’m lucky to have gotten so many traits from my Dad. I’ve got a lot from my Mom, too, but this is Father’s Day today and I’m missing him. I can’t drive over and give him a hug but I can give him a cyber hug on this blog. Thanks for being so wonderful, Dad. And thanks, too, for not passing on the gene that helps you grow that luxurious mustache. No facial waxing for me–not yet, anyway.