The vintage picture of my parents was taken on their wedding day. Dad was handsome and dashing (and a barnstorming dare devil), Mom the homebody. They made a good pair. I knew if I wanted my dad he would be in the garage restoring an Alpha Romeo Spider or building a pontoon boat if he wasn’t performing an annual inspection on someone’s aircraft. He didn’t own an airplane himself – he couldn’t afford it – but he loved to work on an engine and had secured every certificate the FAA offered except commercial pilot. He had a private pilot’s license and HAD to see if the plane flew correctly after his maintenance. I have no idea how many times I heard him say “Open her up and let’s see what she’ll do!” And he did.
I sit writing a blog while the father of my children also has his lap top open. What he is browsing is anyone’s guess, but we have learned to run a marriage that way. We allow the other to be themselves. He became a father much too early, but he was probably more excited about it than I was in the beginning. Unlike my father if the kids wanted theirs he was probably on the radio. I took my babies to press boxes and remember saying “Shush, Daddy is on the air.” And they would.
My son has become a stepfather in the last few years. I am sure stepping into a half-grown kid’s life when you’ve never been a father yourself is not easy. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves the kids and the role. If he is wanted, he too will be in the garage but his will have surround-sound music and an air conditioner. He spent a lot of time with my father and loves to restore old vehicles, but he does it with more pizazz.
I look at three generations of fathers and see how each did it differently and wonder how my grandson will handle the job. He is quiet and gentle most of the time and like his uncle always surrounded by music.
The job of father has changed over the years but it is still the same in many ways. They love their children and will do what is necessary for them. Even if it means they don’t get to do all the things they want to do. Kids come first,.
I’m grateful to have been around so many wonderful fathers. Tell me about the fathers in your life.