~For all of the incredible men out in the world who choose to be even more amazing dads.
Morning Citizens of the World:
I’m sure my six-week absence was barely felt in the megalomania known as social media. Nonetheless, it’s comforting to be back blogging and reconnecting with the world.
My son poses with his t-ball trophy.
A few significant changes happened to me recently:
I became gainfully employed once again (it’s only temporary)
My son started his first season of t-ball
I registered my son for kindergarten
My father passed away
While the first three milestones are noteworthy, the fourth devastatingly pivoted in my life. For weeks, I’ve shied away from posting about it on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. In lieu of this, I posted pictures and thoughtful odes sans pronouns and Christian names. However, the need to express my thoughts through words finally crept to the surface and conquered.
My dad galvanized many of my interests, ideologies, and attributes that I never fully acknowledged until recently. The first story I ever wrote was about his ’88 Chevy truck (drawing included). I was only five at the time, but he subtly affected me in a very positive way (and this was only the beginning). The following year, he helped with a Yogi Bear play (I was the playwright), by editing my words, making sock puppets, and building a stage to present it all on. My father had a mischievous sense of humor from which my own silliness sprang. My first cassette tape was Diana Ross and The Supremes greatest hits, a gift from him that I held dear as a pre-teen. His passion for music impacted my penchant for anything jazz, doo whoop, adult contemporary, and R&B.
I remember informing him that the only thing I wanted of his was his vinyl collection. And now, knowing it’s mine, it feels as though I’m lacking something. I’m lacking the opportunity to have another moment with my dad. Listening to one of his records won’t bring the same joy without him there.
In academics, my dad’s involvement in the National Honor Society, extracurricular activities, college, and overall ethics motivated my scholastic path. (He heavily influenced my vocabulary; facetious is one of my favorite words to use whenever I can.) His achievements stood out to me, inspiring me to do what he did so he’d be proud of his daughter.
Looking up to my Dad.
As a little girl, I wanted to do whatever I could to become closer to Daddy. Whether it was asking him to teach me to fish or how to piece together a jigsaw puzzle from the inside out, he always took the time to nurture my curiosity. For which I’m extremely grateful.
When we moved from the city to the country (aka Tappahannock), I instantly adjusted to the rural life and fully launched myself into tomboy mode. I recall him warning me on several occasions to stay out of the woods because of snakes, quicksand (no such thing there!) or that I might break a bone. I never listened, but none of his cautions came to fruition. 🙂
Even when I thought he had no idea what was important to me, he amazed me with his attentiveness. I was obsessed with becoming an actor in my younger years and there was an open casting call for the Lassie movie. I talked about it all week, and each time my dad said no. But soon, he realized the importance of it and ended up taking me. The 12-year-old me was exceedingly happy, even though I wasn’t cast in the movie.
Moments like that will have me pining for more with him. He was there when I graduated from high school and college. When my son had his dedication and first birthday, my father was present. And even when I was wounded by someone else’s words and thoughts about me, he was there telling me that he loved me no matter what anyone else thought or said. And those are the words that will resonate in my heart forever.
Peter Young, Jr was the best father that I could’ve asked God for as a daughter, and I’m thankful he was a part of my life. It was a blessing that I was able to convey his significance in my life to him before he passed away.
My father and a 13-year-old me.
Follow Anita on Twitter: @Emranija