A few years ago, my dad joined the omega-3-fatty-acids bandwagon. I don't know if he read it or watched it, but a news report convinced him that salmon, nuts, and flaxseed oil were at the bottom of Ponce de Leon's fountain of youth. From that point on, a carefully wrapped package of walnuts arrived at my house every month. The walnuts were a good snack, but the concern they represented reminded me that even with a mortgage and a retirement account, I was still Daddy's little girl.
Earlier this week, I mailed Father's Day cards to my three favorite dads. My brother gained access to the club 20 months-ago with the birth of Piper...who recently learned that he has a name...all his own. My dad is a veteran, and the other is earning his stripes with a teenager and a pre-teen. What I like about these three is their ability to add some levity to the routine. Here's an example: one evening I called home to talk with my mom. My dad answered; after the pleasantries, I asked, with some desperation, to speak with my momma. Well, "she's not home," he replied. "You can talk to me." I patiently explained that he just wouldn't do...it was "girl talk". My dad chuckled and pointed out that at 59, my mom was not a girl...so I may as well talk to him!
Through the years, he's the one who has never let it get too serious...even when it is. One particularly difficult day, I called home and asked if I could move a double-wide in the backyard...wedge it right between the deck and their vegetable garden....start my day with them over steaming cups of coffee. Just the three of us...like in the early days. I could tell it wasn't the way my dad planned to spend his golden years, but he sensed I needed to believe I could run home. So he said, "Sure, honey." But added, "You know, your momma and I don't drink that fancy coffee you like so much."
I didn't move that day...but just like clockwork, my package of walnuts arrived.