My father has a strange love for DNA. At times he almost acts as if our DNA is a gift he and my mother gave to us. He has been known to brag that there is no cancer in our family as if this is proof of our superior DNA.
He has never done a politically correct thing in his life and was never shy about telling a bigoted joke or using a slur of any kind. Although the language was never directed at a specific person which I am sure is why he would tell you, and actually believe, that he is not prejudiced.
I have been challenging him on this crap since I hit puberty. I have actually been challenging him on most things since I hit puberty.
You can imagine that our adoption plans were colored by my fear, love, respect and frustration with my father.
At some point during the process my father said to me, “It is not an adventure I would choose…” followed by some encouraging words. I appreciated that a man who NEVER bothers to walk delicately around his family would pick these words; honest and still supportive.
Little Dude met my Dad about six weeks after arriving in the US. He fell in love with my Dad about six minutes after meeting him. Six minutes later the feeling was mutual.
Today my father turns 75.
We will spend next weekend together.
He will try to bait me into a political discussion.
He will watch Fox News while smoking cheap nasty cigars and not understanding why I don’t want to hang out in the garage with him.
My kids’ bad behavior will drive him nuts.
He will welcome my dog into his house.
He will welcome my sister’s dog into his house.
He will not care that there are clothes, toys and the detritus of four grandchildren spread everywhere (until the second he DOES care and swears about it.)
He will shoot guns with my nephews.
He will lay on the floor and play with my kids.
He will repeat over and over how my kids are afraid of him. He will be right about PJ. He will be completely wrong about Little Dude.
He will reject the idea of taking the keys out of the cars and golf cart. I think he secretly wants to see if Little Dude can actually start the vehicles. I hope this is not the weekend that Little Dude backs the car into the garage.
He and I will compete to influence the political leanings of my younger nephew.
He will drive me crazy.
I will piss him off when I am trying not to and again when I have had enough.
My father has a deep fear of being incapacitated. He likes to say that if he is bed-ridden we just need to put the gun on the bed. Then he says, “Don’t worry, you won’t have to pull the trigger.”
I always look him straight in the eye and say, “Dad, you don’t worry, I will pull the trigger.”
To the man who unintentionally taught me every swear word in the book and constantly amazes me with new combinations…
To the man who wouldn’t let me drive a car in high school unless I changed the oil…
To the man who gave me a snow-plow route as a gift my senior year in high-school….
To the man who I am way more alike than I want to admit…
To the man who I am not nearly as similar to as I would hope….