The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

Happy Fathers Day

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. 

~Clarence Budington Kelland

My dad is full of advice but mostly just lives his life honorably and allows us to watch.  He is a lover of sports, tennis especially.  He once met the father of a certain Williams sisters while watch the French Open and commended him on the match Serena had just finished.  “Serena played a hell of a match today” he said, “You must be very proud of your daughters.”  Mr. Williams confirmed that he is, in fact, proud of his daughters and thanked him for the kind words.

My dad is not much of a yeller.  I always knew I was in trouble (which was a lot)  when he would cross his arms, shake his head and mumble, “this shit has to cease, Erika.”

Other “fun” things Dad has said over the years..

“der schtops and der schtops.”

“You own nothing in this house. It is my house and I will look through any pockets and any drawers and any closets whenever I see fit. This is not a democracy.”

On my wedding day we were preparing to enter the church.  I looked inside and saw the church was full.  I got nervous that I would trip or something and said to him, “wow, there are a lot of people here.”  His encouraging words back to me were accompanied by a pat on the arm, “you invited a lot of people, honey, let’s go.”

We had many arguments over the years about this and that, I was a teenager once upon a time, after all.  The constant was always that he was there.  Dad was there when I played tennis matches and skied and had piano recitals..  always quiet.  Not creepy quiet, but encouraging quiet.  He would nod in approval or gesture a hint on how to do something better.

As I said above, he is not much of a yeller, but he was (and continues to be) a huge cheerleader for me.  It is true that a father makes a huge difference in the lives of their daughters.  Mine did so quietly, affirming my good decisions and catching me when I made bad ones.  He does not tell me how to live, he merely provides a good example by living well.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there.  Especially mine.


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