My Father, My Dad

Today isn’t Pi Day for me. Never has been, never will be.

That’s because today is my father’s birthday.

I don’t get to see or talk to my Dad much these days. I think we’ve had a bit of a “cat’s in the cradle” thing happening since I left Ontario over 13 years ago. He lived out in BC for a while, but that really didn’t work out for him. It sucks…because I do miss him. I wish we could hang out more. I had visions of coffee with him every once in a while, and a beer with him just as often. When I go back to Ontario this summer (which is the current plan), I’ll get to see him again, which will be great. He’ll also get to see his grandkids, which will be even better.

My father was (and is) the best father he could be. He provided for us, he coached my baseball team, he went to my school plays. He pulled out all the stops so I could go to Boston with my high school choir, even though I’m pretty sure my parents couldn’t afford it. He tried really, really hard to be the best he could be.

Now that I’m a father, I’m doing the same. Only differently, I suppose. Just as my father learned from his, I learned from mine. There are things Dad could do better than I ever could – like fix stuff around the house. That isn’t my forté. And there are things I can do better than Dad – like being the resident geek in the family. So I guess that means we both are handy, but differently.

My Dad and I are a lot and nothing at all alike. I think that’s a good thing. We can share things with each other and have a sense of everything behind it that others just can’t. I think every father and son have that to a degree.

When Dad lived here for a spell, I took him to a comedy show. I did so hoping that he would have a good time (which he did), to introduce him to some of my friends who would be there (which I did) and to spend time with him in my adopted hometown. But I also wanted him to be proud of me, to be able to see what I had built here with the hopes that he’d be able to revel in the fact that he brought someone into this world – and raised them – into a man he could be proud of.

I think he was. I hope he is.

My Dad isn’t exactly the web-surfing type, but I hope he reads this. I’ll do my best to make it happen; I’ll point him this way via Facebook – also known as the indirect route. Because if (or when) he reads this I want to let him know that I think about him every day, that I love him, respects him now more than ever and can’t wait to have that beer with him really soon.

Although I will settle for a coffee instead.

Photo credit: Martin Weller (CC BY-NC 2.0)