Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Happy Father’s Day

I couldn’t have picked a better guy to have a baby with. Drew is patient, funny, loving, and responsible. Jackson adores his da-da, and lights up when he comes home from work. Happy first Father’s Day, Drew!

My dad was and continues to be a great father (and now grandpa). He passed along his curiosity in other cultures, a love of travel, and an ease and interest in meeting new people. He believes in me the way I wish everyone were lucky enough to have a parent believe in him and her, and continues to be one of my biggest supporters. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

What are some of your best memories of the favorite dads in your life, past and present?

* If you’ve got a suggestion for a future open thread topic, email me at wendy@dearwendy.com.

29 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran June 15, 2012, 4:29 pm

    Growing up, I use to think my dad was the biggest dork. He still is the biggest dork, but it’s what I love most about him. He’s also the friendliest person I know and would do anything for anyone. That’s why I can now laugh about the way he woke my sis and I up in the morning. I can still hear in a sing song voice as he calls up the stairs . . .

    “Rise and shine, it’s a beatutiful moring.” You had to be there. Or maybe not.

    He’s the best.

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  • avatar

    Elle Marie June 15, 2012, 4:46 pm

    On a family trip to Yellowstone, my dad took me on one of the horseback trail rides in the park. He was sore for DAYS afterward, but it was an amazing experience and is a treasured memory.

    This weekend, I am baking his favorite kind of pie (strawberry rhubarb) and delivering it to him – it is also my parents’ 38th wedding anniversary, so it is an extra-special visit!

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  • Tracey

    Tracey June 15, 2012, 4:48 pm

    One day, my sister and I asked our dad to take us to the movies. I think I was about eight or nine.

    “Sit down,” he replied, “Daddy wants to teach you something important.”

    We sat down next to him, wide eyed, expecting to hear what movie we were going to see. I could practically taste the popcorn.

    “Baby, your mind will take you everywhere. But your pocket? Your pocket will take you nowhere,” he said. “Always remember that.”

    We sat there for a second. A long silent second. My sister and I looked at each other, looked at Mom, then at Dad.

    “Umm, okay,” we said, then I asked, “So, does that mean we aren’t going to the movies?”

    Mom chuckled, saying, “John, why not just tell them you’re broke this weekend? It’s okay….”

    Daddy shook it off, “I’m trying to teach them something important.”

    Needless to say, we didn’t go to the movies that week, but years later, that lesson stuck with me. He showed us how to play, how to roller skate, taught me about jazz music, read to us, and always let us know how much he loved us. No amount of money could ever take us to such heights.

    Daddy died in 1982, but to this day, I think of that one sentence – your mind will take you everywhere – when I write, when I learn, when I observe, when I talk to others, when I think about him. My mind does take me everywhere, even to a space where I can say, “Dad, I love you,” some 30 years after his passing.

    Happy father’s day, Daddy. I love you.

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    • avatar

      rachel June 15, 2012, 5:30 pm

      This brought tears to my eyes. Just lovely.

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      • avatar

        evanscr05 June 15, 2012, 5:45 pm

        Ditto!

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      • Tracey

        Tracey June 18, 2012, 11:51 am

        Thank you. This father’s day was a bit hard to face because he’s been gone for so long, but reading these stories, and knowing that my story touched others helped make it better.

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  • avatar

    Taylor June 15, 2012, 4:55 pm

    My dad was retired when I was born. He woke me up and made me breakfast every school day until I graduated from high-school. He was 91 (and I was 21) when he died. 12 years later, and I’m getting married in a week, and wish he could be there. We (finally) converted my older sister’s wedding cassettes to DVD. We watched them last night, and I heard his voice for the first time in 12 years. That was a treat for this weekend. I still miss him.

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  • avatar

    evanscr05 June 15, 2012, 5:41 pm

    I have the world’s best dad. He’s just amazingly supportive, honest, and has always encouraged my brother and I to be independent and curious about the world. I am definitely a total daddy’s girl. He was always so encouraging and interested in my activities when I was in school, and never failed to show up and root me on. He still talks about how much fun he had watching me. During the beginning of college, he lived a couple hours away from my school, so close enough to visit if he wanted to randomly, but far enough away that I didn’t feel like he was watching my every move. I was in marching band in college, and one day I was having a particularly bad day (though, I do not remember why), and I was talking to him on the phone while I was heading down on a game day to meet up with my section. I was not in the mood to march that day. I was sitting there with my friends, all uniformed up, stewing over whatever had gotten to me that day, and I look up, and there he is. I had NO idea he was going to come down. It wasn’t a particularly special game that parents would have/want to be there for, so I was totally shocked to see him. He told me he just felt like surprising me and wanted to see our show. Knowing he was there in the crowd watching me was super encouraging, and I marched my little heart out that day. I was definitely not in a bad mood after that.

    I love how he’s always been my cheerleader, even when I’m not expecting one, or even in need of one. He’s just there for me. Can’t get any better than that!

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  • rilooyah

    rilooyah June 15, 2012, 6:17 pm

    Aw Im tearing up reading these. My dad is super duper awesome as well. My brother and I moved with him when my parents separated/divorcing, bc my mom went a bit bonkers (and she now says she ASKED us to leave bc she needed to “find herself” or something. No, Ma, you were unbearable then and only slightly less so now…) and he turned into Supermom- learning how to do laundry and cooking dinenr every night, etc. My brother was a senior in HS and I was in 8th grade so after that first year it was mostly me and my dad. I couldnt have had (and continue to have) a more supportive influence in my life.

    I remember when I was in HS, we went to the grocery store and he was mad that they had changed up the store (or maybe they were in the process of doing so? I forget) and he was obviously ticked off about it. And Im all “Dad, chill out geez. We’ll find everything.” And he says, “RILooyah, one of my greatest accomplishments as a single dad was knowing where everything was in the grocery store.” I dont recall my response, but Im sure it was something teen-angsty like rolling my eyes, but I still look back and laugh at that.

    I think if there was to be one memory from childhood that I look back and can appreciate how awesome my dad was, would be when I was like 5 and still believed that there was a leprechan with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. So I tell my dad I want to go find it when we see a rainbow this day, and I pick up my McD’s Halloween trick-or-treat plastic pumpkin container and we take off, and we discuss how we’ll bring back all the gold. (Stuff some in your socks! We can take off our jackets and tie it up in there, too!) And he obviously just supported my little 5 year old get-rich-quick scheme. I dunno how this comes off typed…but it is a very fond memory, and all about my dad supporting my dreams, even when he knows it is silly and wrong.

    I actually buy 3 mother’s day cards- one for my mother, one for my stepmother, and one for my dad, bc he really stepped up when he needed to and my mother wasnt.

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    • avatar

      Kristen June 15, 2012, 7:13 pm

      This is so great. The rainbow thing blows me away. I was really moved by this.

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    • avatar

      lemongrass June 16, 2012, 10:32 am

      When my sister was 5 she tried to find the end of the rainbow. Only she was by herself and everyone else was freaking out! Finally someone called and said “we found her… on the other side of town!” Thank goodness it was a small town where everyone knew each other.

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  • JK

    JK June 15, 2012, 6:49 pm

    Thread hijack:
    I´m happy today because we did all the paperwork for the land we bought 🙂 (after a LOT of delays). So now it´s time to save until we can build the house of our dreams!

    Back to the thread: I know I´ve mentioned before on here that I love how demonstrative and loving my husband is with our girls. It´s usually hard for him to open up and show emotion, but he is just the sweetest dad ever. And that makes me love him all the more.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 6:55 pm

    Happy Father’s Day, Drew and Wendy’s Dad!

    Thread hijack:

    I just got off the phone with my 9 year old nephew who informed me that there’s a girl he’s “crushin’ on.” … And it begins!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 7:56 pm

      I was fishing for details and my nephew says “I’ll only answer yes or no questions because I’m not talking about her in front of my two brothers!” Adorable. So I ask if she’s smart, “very.” I ask if she’s funny, “eh, kind of, not too funny though.” I ask if she runs fast, “i don’t know.” I ask if she’s nice, “yes.” …. i asked if she gives good sloppy kisses, “ewwwwww gross, mama, talk to Auntie, i’m done.” Bwahahahahaha. Man I love my nephews.

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  • avatar

    Kristen June 15, 2012, 7:16 pm

    My dad isn’t the most emotionally available or supportive dad in the world, but he’s taught me a million things about life, and he’s always been there for me. He taught me how to be independent and think for myself. He’s always there to help me go over the estimate for my car repairs or answer questions about the best way to manage your finances. He always came to all my school events, and he’s proud of me in a quiet and reserved kind of way.

    I’m getting married next month, and I can’t wait to see my fiance as a dad. He’s going to be a really, really great one, and actually we’d love to have that happen by next father’s day (or at least be pregnant).

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    • avatar

      Kristen June 15, 2012, 7:19 pm

      Oh, and another example of my dad: Last Friday, my car broke down while I was driving home at 4 in the morning. The two people who came to help me were my fiance and my dad. It meant so much to see them in their pajamas pushing my car to the side of the road. I may not be able to count on my dad to be touchy feely or super emotional, but he’s there when it matters. I think that’s important, too.

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  • Kristina

    Kristina June 15, 2012, 8:01 pm

    I love my dad so much and he’s been there for me in so many ways. He loved me when I was a complete mess and probably disappointed him, but he never said it. He’s provided a comfortable life for me, without spoiling me too much, and even when we were really poor, I barely knew it.

    My dad is a psychologist, so he works late hours to accommodate his client’s schedules. I used to miss having him at home a lot, but weekends became our time to hang out, and I appreciate how much he’s sacrificed and put his life on hold to let me do what I’m passionate about in life. Best part about my dad being a therapist is that he will always listen to me vent! I may not like that my parents never got divorced, but I still love my dad because I realize just how much he loves his kids and that he wouldn’t put the mother of his children (she’s mentally ill) out in the streets.

    And most of all, while my dad has always challenged me intellectually, which I love, he never told me that I couldn’t do art and go to art school. I know too many people around me who have been disowned or cut off financially from their families simply for going to art school.

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    • avatar

      painted_lady June 15, 2012, 8:15 pm

      We’re lucky. My dad came to every single play I was in, including the bizarre experimental play in college where my character came back as a ghost and said fuck a lot. If it shocked him or he hated it, he never said.

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      • Kristina

        Kristina June 16, 2012, 1:40 am

        Definitely. My dad has been to most of my dance performances (all the important ones and all my solo ones), went to my first gallery show, and will still look at every single sketch, drawing, or photograph that I’m willing to show.

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    painted_lady June 15, 2012, 8:12 pm

    My dad was kind of rough to be around sometimes when I was growing up, but he was always the world’s best straight man for the screwball comedy duo that was me and my mom. Whether he was zoned out over the paper or the evening news and my mom and I were calling him names he wasn’t hearing, or we were falling out laughing over his failed attempt to do the laundry (“NO! I don’t want doll clothes!”) or grill a steak (“Awesome! Jerky for dinner!”) or the ridiculous haircut he tried to give the sheepdog (“You only shaved three legs…and why didn’t you defend her from the wild animal that’s been chewing on her ass?”), he has always taken our good-natured ribbing with equal good nature. Also, his dancing is epically bad, and I love him for it. I got my smartass sense of humor and my sense of logic and ethics from him. Well, and like most of his face.

    My mom’s the one I talk to when I want someone to commiserate these days, but my dad’s the one I call when I want advice. He pulls no punches, never sugarcoats, but always believes that I’m the best and I deserve the best.

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    • avatar

      painted_lady June 16, 2012, 11:16 am

      Oh, and one of my absolute favorite Dad stories: when I graduated from college, my long-term boyfriend, Patrick, was in the Air Force and stationed in England and only got home every six months or so. The first time he came home, my tire had just blown out the week before, but I had a full-size spare and offered to drive the five hours from Houston to Dallas, which is where his family was, and that way he wouldn’t have to miss out seeing his family. The first morning, we were crashed out in Patrick’s bed, my phone rang. It was my dad, who *had* to call at 8 am to tell me nor to drive anywhere else on my tire because the spare likely had dry rot. I started asking a million questions, where I should go, what I should ask for, how to make sure I wasn’t getting screwed by the tire people, because I am HOPELESS with car stuff. My dad tried to answer at first, but then realized I was getting a little panicky and asks, “Is…is Patrick there?” My conservative, overly polite, shy, awkward dad then spoke to the boyfriend sharing my bed AT THAT MOMENT in hopes of keeping me safe. It was one of the most embarrassing moments thus far for all three of us, I’m sure, but my dad, who is so shy, was willing to cause it if it meant I stayed safe.

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  • avatar

    Muffy June 15, 2012, 8:25 pm

    My dad is a phenomenal man. He adopted us four kids when our biological father had walked out on my mom and never came back. He could’ve easily just been a step dad but he wanted us to be his children and I am forever grateful that this man came into my life. To me he’s always been my dad – and the other one is just a sperm donor

    Also Wendy: I hope you take this is a compliment because I mean it as such: You look just like Joan Holloway/Harris in that picture! Very mad men,

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 8:32 pm

      I know, she does. She’s such a lucky shit. I mean that in the nicest way.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy June 16, 2012, 11:31 am

      Thanks! That’s definitely a compliment.

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  • MandaNoA

    Mandanoa June 16, 2012, 12:21 am

    My dad had us when he was kind of young (my mom is 6 years older than him and they knew if they didn’t have kids soon after marriage that they might not be able to) so he wasn’t always sure what to do with us when we were young. One thing my dad and I had in common though was we both loved professional wrestling. We would be watching the WWF (before it was the WWE) and out of nowhere he would yell “Suplex!”, scoop me up, hold me over his head and then softly drop me down onto the couch. I would always try to run away and scream “No” but I would always end up laughing too hard to really protest.
    Now as an adult my dad is the most amazing and supportive man I’ve ever met. He comes over once a week to help me mow my lawn (I could just hire someone to do it but I know deep down he secretly loves that he gets to still do things for me) and is constantly telling me how proud he is of me. I know I can call him about anything from “It’s midnight and my dryer just broke” to “I bought a plane ticket but I don’t know what I do now…”. I couldn’t ask for a better dad and one day he’s going to make the best grandpa.

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  • avatar

    Wendy's Dad June 16, 2012, 4:45 am

    Aw, gee. Thanks, Wendy. And I’m lucky to have not one, but two, wonderful daughters. And now I have a great son-in-law and grandson.

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  • avatar

    Sunshine Brite June 16, 2012, 9:49 am

    I’m off to go visit my Dad soon. He’s still my rock even though I have this boyfriend who will be there forever and in theory, I’m an independently thinking adult. I call him to weigh pros and cons. I call him to tell him about a funny show. I call him when the car makes a noise (and he usually has an answer for said noise). He’s spent hundreds of hours playing, coaching, and watching softball with me over the past 20 years. He’s made it to every big event I’ve asked him to be at, including state mock trial in high school which could not have possibly been interesting. I think my dad’s the bestest in the whooooole world. But then again I’m fairly biased.

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  • avatar

    lemongrass June 16, 2012, 9:50 am

    My dad is awesome. He’s always making an effort to keep in touch and stay in my life, which I really appreciate considering my parents had a lot of kids and it can be hard to make them all feel special. In every conversation he asks “so, when are you coming up next?” Its really sweet.

    My story is on the funny side. I was around 11 and he was taking me out for ice cream. I’m sitting in his truck and there is a newspaper at my feet. I’m staring at the banner ad, its for thong sandals. The caption reads “toe is the new cleavage.” I don’t get it. Naturally, I ask my father. “Dad, what’s cleavage?” He looks at me and stammers “Uh, its the space between a woman’s breasts. WHY?” After I told him why he laughed. I laugh every time I think of that time.

    On another note, my husband is going to be a fantastic father and I can’t wait to see him with the teeny tiny baby that’s in me right now!

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  • mandalee

    mandalee June 16, 2012, 10:28 am

    My dad and I always had a somewhat complicated relationship, because we are both stubborn and always think we are right. But even though he drives crazy sometimes, I know he really does love and care about me so much. He didn’t have a dad growing up, so he was always hard on himself about being the “perfect dad”. He wasn’t perfect for sure, but he did a lot of things right. He always had my back when someone hurt my feelings, cheered me up when I was sad, and always says I love you when we get off the phone, even if it’s a two minute conversation. He lives in PA and I’m outside of Boston, so I won’t see him this weekend, but I hope he has a fabulous Father’s Day because he deserves it!

    I’m sure my husband will be an amazing father one day! Even though, he is a little awkward around kids now, and treats them like an alien life form, I know he’ll treat his own children wonderfully and I can’t wait to be there to see it all happen!

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