My Dad is magic. Always has been. Always will be. I am 35 years old and in my mind, he can still make anything happen. Yes, it may be naive or childish, but for me it’s true.
Ever since I was a small child he has been everything I think a Daddy should be…hardworking, fun, protective, playful, creative, and present when it matters. Add those things together and it makes MAGIC.
On the day I was born, my mother says he yelled at the nurses who were cleaning me up in the operating room for “rubbing me too hard. That protective nature never quite went away. As a toddler I had a terrible fear of people singing happy birthday to me. It brought me to tears for years. In today’s age of helicopter parenting, we’d just avoid singing happy birthday at my party. But in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s this would not be acceptable in my big, enthusiastic family. So they sang. I cried. And magic Daddy took his position of hugging me through it. We have several pictures, each one with me a tiny bit bigger, but each in this same location and position.
When I was old enough to question if Santa really came to our house and came down our chimney. He made sure he had proof for me. Christmas morning was magical with gifts but even more magical with child-shocking proof of the big man himself sitting in OUR chair, eating OUR cookies, in front of OUR chimney. Magical. (I’m still not sure how this occurred…I mean, no one can really see Santa, right!?)
One Halloween, which I specifically remember was a school night. My busy, hardworking teacher of a Mom, rushed home from the high school, picked up candy to pass out, prepped snacks for friends we were expecting, and handed me my K-mart purchased costume to put on. Black cat headband ears, tail that was to be pinned to my dancing leotard, slippers, and some face paint. Great, right? Wrong. In my whimsical, creative mind (OK, and a little high maintenance attitude) I had dreamed up some specific homemade creation, but there just wasn’t time. You would have thought the world had ended (DRAMA). I remember being in my parent’s room, crying in part from disappointment from the situation, with equal disappointment from myself and my behavior, and part panic that I knew it would be time to leave for trick or treating any minute (How would I go a whole year without my Reese Cups?). In comes Dad, with his “Dad work look” (stained and ripped jeans, boots, and flannel shirt). After figuring out what was wrong and assessing the situation, he did not yell or tell me to get myself together and be grateful for what my mother already gave me (side note: as a parent now myself, this is exactly what I would have done in this situation). He simply said, “You’ll be a ho-bo clown.” What? He pulled out his clothes and began stuffing them full of t-shirts, painted my face, and promptly got me outside and paraded us around the neighborhood. I remember laughing and finishing the tears at the same time. MAGIC.
They say you often choose a man like your father (for better or worse, right?). And there are clear differences in my life…my husband is wonderful, but is not nearly as handy as my Dad, and forget my Dad ever doing something as “out there” as spending a morning doing yoga with me like my sweet husband will. But one thing is the same. THE MAGIC. I see it in my husband as he searches out new book series to read with our daughters and makes the library trip an adventure. I see it when he has the patience I don’t have to deal with the girl drama in our house. I see it in the twinkle of his eye when they joke and rough house.
Daddy’s are MAGIC. Or at least they always should be. If you are a child, I hope you spend some time today remembering the MAGIC of a Dad (or Dad-like figure) in your life. If you are Grandfather, I hope you find joy in continuing to make MAGIC. And if you are a Dad, I hope you realize the magical powers you have in the important role of fathering, and make some MAGIC of your own today!
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