(I hope you'll indulge a bit of recycling for today's post. It's a piece I wrote in 2009 in recognition of Father's Day.)
Okay, this one's gonna be . . . mmmmmm . . . well, I don't quite know what this one's going to be. So I'll make you a deal, I'll just start typing - and you just keep reading - and we'll both see where this ends up.
My father and I have always had a somewhat strained relationship. I swear, if you do a google image search for "distant, silent type," there might actually BE an picture of my dad. In spite of this, he had an indelible effect on the man I became. He had strict requirements of his two boys; impeccable manners, promptness, an exacting work ethic, consistent oil changes, and honesty.
I have always looked back, with a certain amount of humour, on what my parents MUST have thought of the practically alien creature that I MUST have seemed as a child. My abiding hope is that my folks would lay in bed at night and smile with wonder at most of the drama that always seemed to surround me. There were four of us in our home. My retired military father. My high school beauty queen mother. My incredibly athletic older brother. And me - rehearsing Bach for hours each day - obsessively fussing over my wardrobe - and pouring through design magazines. My father played golf. I played the organ. To say that we never had much in common is kind of overstating the *very* obvious.
But, I'll call Dad this afternoon to wish him a Happy Father's Day. We'll have a stiff, stilted conversation about his golf game and my gas mileage. We'll most likely both be a bit uncomfortable. But, I know that it would break his heart if I didn't call. I also know that he loves me. He knows that I love him. And, damn it, I'll make sure that we both say so. My father would want it that way. He taught me good manners - and more importantly - honesty.