Only the people who love deeply will understand the love I have for my dad. He’s the best guy in the world, my hero dad. He’s a feminist and a great cook, but he’s also macho when we need him to be. What a guy! He can whistle, too, right on key and he tells lots of silly jokes that we smirk at. I’m a lucky daughter this Father’s Day because I have a dad. I’m really grateful. And if you have a dad in your life that you love I hope you are grateful, too.
Many people grow up in fatherless homes. When that happens, the mother has to do everything. I’ve heard about it. My mom was a single parent of my older sister for ten years or so. The best thing about this dad of mine is his limitless love and that is rare. I think about this now because it’s nearly Father’s Day. It should be Father’s Month all of June because the fathers of the world need to be appreciated now more than ever. I’m hoping those families with fathers are as happy as I am with their dads.
I hope the dads lift up the babies to the skies and put them on their shoulders like mine did. My hope is that those of us with autism will have dads like mine. When I was a toddler, I used to run off. Once I squeezed through the bars of a McDonald’s playground and the gates were locked and tall. I ran towards a six-lane street full speed ahead. He actually scaled that fence and saved my life. He was so quick back then, thank God.
There were so many times I ran off or did something humiliating in public, but my dad stuck with me. When I choked on a meatball my dad did the Heimlich maneuver and saved my life that time again. What is especially profound about my dad is his poetry. His poetry is some of the very best around town, yet almost no one hears it or reads it.
But it is wonderful. When he does read his work publicly people love it dearly. I get a lot of my writing ability from him. I’m aware that my so-called severe autism has stressed his life. Most fathers would fold under that kind of pressure but he stood by me and he’s still here, a tribute to fatherhood everywhere, a vast expanse of love that sustains me. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
photo by Carolyn Reed