Never, Would he Ever be a Rolling Stone
So, Sunday is Father's Day. I was hoping to be home...but a sista finally put herself on a real budget and it just wasn't in the cards. Plus, I'd like to have a couple extra days so I'm waiting for the next three day.
Of course, this is like the most stereotypical time of year to write a post about Pop, but since I have been sitting in wonder of how are relationship went from fabulous to not so fabulous to downright uncomfortable, and back to fabulous over the last 16 years, it is also the perfect time. See, I'm ready to admit I'm daddy's little girl out loud. These days, I even randomly pick up the phone and talk to him for more than two minutes.
Why is that a milestone? Because for a long time our conversations were filled with "Hey pop. Where's Mom?" and that was about it. Every once in awhile, Dad would force me to talk to him. Every once in awhile he would call me out of the blue, drop the great one liner about some issue my mother must have told him about (or he overheard). Solve it for me in less than 15 seconds. Then say 'love you' and goodbye.' Never to be discussed again. That was about the extent of bonding.
Thank God, I have matured substantially. Honestly, I could not have dreamed of a better man to be my father. Yeah, Pop's got some stuff with him. Just like I sit on the crux of generation X and Y, Pop sits on the crux of Baby-Booming Strong-Silent-Bring-Home-the-Bacon and Sandwhich-generation-Obamarama-co-parent. And that made for some Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-ish moments. Sometimes he was the nurturer. Oft times he was the General.
But regardless, among men his age, especially black men, my Pop has had one of the most progressive approaches to fatherhood. He did more than as C.Rock would say, "[kept] his daughter off the pole." He chose to be involved in everything. He probably could be running that corporate Big House he has made himself invaluable to (Pop dodged more "down sizing", "right sizing" than a fool running through Compton dodging bullets) But he decided long ago that the sacrifice was not worth his family. He was apart of so much of the nuturing that we got as kids. More so than any other dad I know.
He never missed a Chorus concert
He never missed a Soccer Game.
He never missed a dance recital.
He never missed a parent-teacher conference.
As a matter of fact, my father only missed one event in my childhood--and that was because he was sick as a dog. And even then he was willing to come. My father used to fly around the universe in a day if he had to participate in the activities, and practices, and homework problems. He would be exhausted. But it didn't matter. He did what he had to.
When my brother was failing Spanish. My father took the time to go sit in the classroom and observe. When my mother was freaking me out everytime she took me out for a driving lesson--pop stepped in, and even though he was straight up the General about it, I am as a good of a driver as I am today because of it (he was the General when it came to math too and I hated it--but now all I do is math and I'm type good at it!).
But he wasn't only good at the teaching tasks and skills. My father taught us about being good active citizens, the importance of family, and told us--even more than my mother--that we should be whatever we want to be and it doesn't have to be corporate America and it doesn't even mean you have to go to college as long as you have a plan.
I pray that the father of my children is even half the man that my father continues to be.
And if you are reading, Pop. Happy Fathers Day. I love you more than you could know!