June 19, 2016

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my dad! Jim is my step-dad, but for all intents and purposes, he's the man who raised me and I have very few memories prior to him entering the picture. I imagine I'd have his name, too, if my biological father had ever allowed it.
I looked into adult adoption within the last year and would have loved for this to be my gift, alas, it's very complicated and expensive... one would think it would be easier to just allow someone to adopt you once you're 18 (or almost 25) but... I had to settle for a fart-joke t-shirt instead, which I'm sure he'll still appreciate.

If my mom's hard to shop for, he's even harder... he doesn't even see many things he likes/wants, period. Mom just puts it off til the last minute - he always says, "I don't need anything" or "just get me socks." Even tools and garden equipment could be potential gifts... if you could keep a running list of what he already has.

I have a feeling my childhood would have been quite a bit more somber without this happy man in my life. He was always full of songs, jokes, teasing, magic tricks, and more - he influenced my witty comebacks, love for singing and oldies music - and rude, crude, and socially unacceptable humor. He taught me how to eat a steak (rare) - and that maybe it's okay to eat all of the steak when you share a dinner with two proteins leaving him the salmon. He taught me to love spicy food and to tell people you loved them everyday. He helped me memorize lots of spelling words and state capitals. He taught me life isn't fair and that sometimes a lot of bad things can happen to a really good person. He taught me to always find the humor in a situation.

We've grown apart - due to things like physical distance (he doesn't like staying overnight away from home), teenage attitude, raising younger grandkids, and my black-sheepness (I'm not a conservative Republican). But even when he's busy supporting things I can't stand for, I hope he knows that that will never change the childhood I was only able to have because of him. My self-esteem may not be the best, but he gave my self-worth a chance I wouldn't have otherwise had. He was my role model on positive self-talk, and how to playfully pick at others without actually being mean. He taught me about the cup being half-way full and making light of dark situations. He helped my mom, the person I hold most dear in this world, stay strong after life had thrown every reason at her not to be - and there's no stronger reason I could love him than that.

Freddie Joe

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