He’s not perfect.
When I was 9, we built a giant glider out of balsa wood. It was tedious, and messy. I got glue everywhere. After a few weekends, the glider was ready to launch. It seemed huge – probably a 3′ wing span. We hooked it to these giant rubber bands and pulled way back. I released the catch. The wings blew off instantly and the glider’s body was moon-bound never to be seen again. I’ve never seen him laugh harder… and that’s all I could do when I forgot to put oil back into Shane’s motorcycle as it seized up in the middle of the desert.
He worked so hard keeping us warm and fed I have few early memories of him. It cost him his first marriage. He remarried and worked harder, on the marriage. On his 10th anniversary to Karen he giggled “it’s amazing they put up with us”. I think of that moment every time I am a boneheaded husband.
He loves boats and taught me how to sail. Occasionally, I’d hit him with the boom or drop the anchor too hard and he’d let go some startling, salty words… then a hilarious hoot. I use his knowledge of the wind every time I ride my bike.
He bought us both skateboards when he was 40 and I was 14. Our first ride down Country Hill Lane was great until he hit an acorn and almost auggered in… laughing and running to a save his life. That’s when I realized I could be kid-like my entire life.
He took us to the Whiting Reunion regularly where he introduced us to distant cousins and silly songs. One year he backed the rented motorhome into a hill and clogged the generator exhaust pipe. We spent all weekend trying to fix it. On the way out, we pulled forward a few feet and it started working, he looked at me with a giant grin. I love taking my own family to The reunion.
He put me to work after college. Nobody else would take me. I thought I was doing great until he fired me. We didn’t speak much for a few years. I got over it, mainly by remembering how much fun we had when times were not perfect. He’s my top advisor. I hired my own kids through their college years and love it when they ask for my ear.
He’s given me many gifts, none better than the ability to laugh at myself and try and do a little better every day.
He’s not perfect.
But, he’s perfect for me.