Usually when I get home to find the light on the answering machine blinking, I’m filled with dread. Who called? What new phone spam is this? But on occasion, after hitting the PLAY MESSAGES button, I’ll hear:
Hey! You dodo! This is your Baba!
Because terms of endearment shouted are always louder and happier. I also love how Dad identifies himself on the answering machine. He will then proceed to leave a hilarious message in which the Dad side wants to be conversational and yet the Professional side wants to be succinct and to the point. A single voicemail illustrates that internal struggle, but the entertainment value is through the roof.
I will get to see my parents in less than a week and I can already play out what Dad will be like. First, he’ll look at me and half-grin half-laugh as he reaches out to give me a hug. He’s going to suggest we get together and cook a nice meal with a GOOD bottle (or two) of wine. Dad will enthusiastically inquire about Crested Butte and the fishing there. He will ask where Kaweah is and when he can see her. Then he’ll start discussing the plan for lunch.
Dad and I are very different people, and yet we share many personality traits and mannerisms. The obvious ones I’ve known about for decades, but Jeremy will observe similarities that can make me cringe, beam, or both.
me and dad (1994)
You know that old saying that you become your parents? I don’t mind that so much anymore. As I get older, I think I understand where they are coming from a little better. At the same time, I wonder if they ponder the things that are looming larger in my mind as I age – things like mortality, life decisions, loved ones, responsibilities, relationships. Of course they do.
Ever since I was little, I have memories of my Dad giving me a sideways squeeze-hug and shouting (always with the shouting), “You dodo, do you know that Baba loves you?!” And I would answer, “yeeeeeeees” while rolling my eyes and waving him off so I could concentrate on my Saturday morning cartoons. Now when I’m with my parents, I sometimes find myself watching Dad while he’s taking off his trifocals to read a wine label 5 millimeters from his nose and wanting to run up and hug him and yell, “Do you know that I love you?!” I guess it goes both ways.
Dad and I (and when she was alive, Kris) have had a running joke – that we kids are the acorn, and he is the tree. Whenever I do something clever or stupid that my Dad would have also done, he points to me with a big grin on his face and says, “Acorn.”
And I kinda love that.
happy father’s day, daddy – i hope you catch lots of big fish