Today is my dad's birthday. He is an amazing person, and I'm so lucky to have him in my life. I've written about my mom on here before, but not so much about my dad. I wanted to write a bit of an "Ode" to my lovely, lovely father.
Even after my parents got divorced when I was 4, my dad made sure to be very much in my life. My brother and I would switch off spending days with dad and mom. My dad learned early on how to put my hair in a bun (I was a ballerina), sewed various clothing that needed stitching, and cooked delicious Italian meals (and other meals, too). My dad is a feminist, and I've had countless talks about this with him over the years. It's such a great feeling to have a father whom I can discuss things like patriarchy and rape culture (among countless other things).
When I was three or four, I apparently didn't like men much. My mother discussed this with my pediatrician at the time, because I never wanted to see a male dentist/doctor/etc. My pediatrician asked: "Well, does she like her father?" My mother replied, "Well, yes, they have a great relationship." Then, my lovely doctor said: "Well, it's probably just as well that she doesn't like other men right now."
My dad has always been about helping others. This personality trait led him to a career helping individuals with disabilities find employment--something he continues to do to this day. He is also a brilliant artist, and makes amazing pottery. He has traveled throughout Europe--living and working in Ireland when he was 19, camping in Switzerland, drinking coffee at a Parisian cafe, driving through Berlin--he has a lot of stories.
The first thing you will notice about my dad is his smile. His smile illuminates any room. His smile-lines are beautiful, plenty, and show that, yes, he has smiled an awful lot in his lifetime. He has a kind soul, and has always supported me in any endeavor--even the ones that didn't work out.
I feel incredibly lucky to have such an amazing man as my father. Having him in my life has made me hopeful that there are others like him out there--other allies--other single fathers doing their daughters proud.