So this is what I’m wondering. When you think of your dad in your mind. Your perhaps 40+ year old mind – who do you see? Do you see the dad before you now(and yes I’m thankful to have my father and I intend to keep him for another 35 years or maybe more) or do you still see the dad when you were a child?
Now I assume our parents see us for who we are – the middle-aged messes we now are as opposed to the rebellious teens or snotty nosed toddlers. I only assume this because when I look at my nine year old I see a nine year old and not the the baby she once was. In fact sometimes I look right into her eyes and see her future instead. That sassy teen, that brilliant college kid, the 6’3″ runway model that will support her old mother someday. Right?
But as for my parents, they haven’t aged a bit. They are both frozen in my mind at about 30 years of age. Thin, dark hair and with the ability to outrun me. I mean I see them now in their 60′s with lines and grey hair and a fashion sense that I sometimes question but I don’t notice any of that. I look into their eyes and I see the parent that they were to me..when they were parenting me full-time.
I clearly see my dad racing down the ski hill on those black diamonds, kicking my butt at tennis and driving the golf ball a good 300 yards. Through his eyes I see us sitting side by side at the stock-car races, riding on horseback through mountains and driving too fast in his old Toyota Land Cruiser. When I look at him I still see his big full beard, his smooth face and maybe even a cigarette in his hand(though I’m very thankful he quit that long ago).
I wonder this. If we all wish our parents the gift of not aging, and in our minds they never do because what happens after that.
It’s easy for me to see my dad’s youth when he’s here. He’s not a grandpa who sits around. He immediately sits on the floor and plays games. He tackles diaper duty and taught Eloise how to ride her bike. He takes the kids fishing and likes to tease them and tell jokes. Today he crawled through the little tunnels in a play area with Astrid because she was afraid to go alone. Watching my dad belly crawl out of the tunnel pretty much reassured me that he could still kick my ass in tennis and will beat me by a mile on the ski hill.
And it also reminded me that we really need to take a vacation and try that. Because neither of us are really 30 anymore. And time is so very precious.
Love you, Dad. Thank you for being in our lives. Thank you for crawling after my kids and helping me keep my sanity. Happy Father’s Day. (And thank you for my Saturday latte’s)