1. My dad’s a storyteller. It’s why I want time alone from him. To hear his stories. It’s why he was so good at police outreach. People love his stories. It’s why the community college wanted him without a degree. Because he taught so well. Through stories.
2. My dad’s favorite colors are red, white, and blue. Which is to say, he doesn’t have one but is willing to pacify his young daughter who was trying to draw something for him. Some dads lie to please their kids.
3. He’s a lone wolf. He wishes my baby brother and I didn’t inherit that. We also inherited his run-towards-trouble, not away from it. He wishes we didn’t inherit that either.
4. He’s had a mustache since he started college. My mom has been asking for him to shave it for years.
5. He wanted to be a cop ever since he was a little boy.
6. He never drank. He never smoked. He was always a Good Guy.
7. He worked for Pepsi before he was a cop. He raised us all to be Pepsi fans.
8. I have complete faith he can fix anything. Even when he grumbles that he doesn’t work on foreign cars.
9. He keeps mints in his pocket so he can give them to my boys. Just like his grandpa did for him.
10. A few stories:
When my dad was three, his family lived at the top end of a T intersection. Before work, his father would move my dad’s little sister from her crib to the master bed to sleep with his mother. My dad woke early and turned on the TV to watch Howdy Doody. One morning, my grandpa left for work. My dad raced to watch Howdy Doody. Someone ran the stop sign and plowed into the family home. The car landed on my dad’s empty bed. My dad regrets never sending a letter to Howdy Doody thanking him for saving his life. Also when my family lived at a T intersection, my dad parked his squad car in front of the house, so if someone ran the stop sign, s/he would plow into a car, not my bedroom.
My dad tells how he and I sat on a bench once, eating ice cream. “I feel sorry for grown ups,” I said as I swung my legs. “Why?” my dad asked. “Because your feet always touch the ground. You never get to rest.”
The year they rereleased Snow White in the theaters when I was a child, my dad bought a poster. He hung it up in my room one night when he got off his midnight shift. The first thing I saw when I woke up was that poster.
When I went to college, I cried the night before I left because who would hug and kiss my dad in the morning before he went off to work and to say goodnight since my brothers were practicing teenage boy jerks.
It’s hard to stop the stories because there are so many. He has shaped my life. I turned to him when I questioned my faith because I knew he would be honest with me. I turned (and still do) to him when I questioned a moral, a philosophy, a law, a political stance. One of his favorite past times is to play devil’s advocate to me, especially when he can push me to annoyed anger, and then I yell “better a bleeding heart than none at all.” He enjoys when he can trip me up with a riddle or a joke, miming reeling in a fish when he has me on the hook. (I’m more fun to sport because I fall for less than my brothers.) He’s my dad.
Note: Not only was I an ugly baby but way too skinny. What where those people doing to me?