Son, why is your penis so red?

-my Dad

A classic Dad-ism and one that warrants some ‘splaining…….

There are many Dad-isms. This particular one was directed at one of my brothers as he stepped out of the shower at the beach.

In my brother’s defense, it is a very nice shower with louvered panels all around, allowing the breeze to pass thru. Truthfully, with the warm water and a cooling breeze, keeping one’s hands away from one’s self can be challenging for a young man.

My brother’s exit from the shower happened to be poorly timed.

To this day, being the mature grown men we are, we never ignore an opportunity to tell his story to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Brothers forever!

I loved my Dad. He was smart, curious and kind. He was a life-long learner and teacher.

He could be Master of the Obvious- piles of words, mostly in question form, sprinted from his brain and out his mouth without pause or forethought.

So, why include this little family gem here?

Well, first off, it is funny as hell. I dare you to say it out loud……

Secondly, being a Dad is a job where you punch in when your child is born and, hopefully, you have a long shift before it’s time to clock out.

A Father is a sperm donor. A Dad is a special kind of person.

A Dad provides for, guides and supports his children- no matter the circumstance- it is called unconditional love. My Dad had an abundance of it and spread it liberally among us- especially when we fucked up.

Instead of a volcanic reaction, he maintained his composure while working thru the issue- the more serious it was, the more calm he was.

Don’t get me wrong, there was always a price to pay- he just didn’t pile it on when shit was hitting the fan. He waited until you least expected it or had locked it away somewhere.

Generally, the punishment fit the crime. The lesson was always the same: you play, you pay.

As a 56-year-old man- when my Dad died- there was a ripple in the force, my anchor was simply gone.

I had the privilege of saying “good bye”- my brothers did too. He was unable to speak but he knew we were present.

When it was my turn to share a few minutes alone with him, I think I managed to say “I love you” but I’m not sure- there were so many tears.

Regardless, he knew he was loved- God knows he earned it raising four boys and a host of adopted people.

My Dad was a collector, not so much of things, but of people. There were artists, filmmakers, opera conductors, professors and lost souls. Our house had many rooms and there was always a seat at the table- always.

After he retired, he went to a local university to study art, sculpture and a couple of the romance languages. He had big travel plans.

He studied Italian and French and was confident he was fluent.

Until he went abroad and people were speaking the language- that’s another story for another time.

I’m pretty sure he routinely pissed off his classmates because he took class seriously and getting good grades were his focus in life at the time. A 70+ year old man, with nothing else to do but study for a single course, screwing up the curve……

My Dad was nothing if not entertaining. We were lucky to have him.

My men friends range in age from their 20’s to their 90’s. The ones with children are great Dads or they wouldn’t be my friends.

The one’s who don’t have kids are, in general, practicing diligently to become Dads. Some have succeeded and are awaiting the arrival of a little bundle of joy with endless energy and constant demands.

Hey, payback is hell in the beginning but watching your child grow and flourish is priceless.

You may want to bookmark this page for reassurance when the baby won’t sleep or your son loses his cell phone for the 5th time or your daughter keeps bringing home idiots.

Being a Dad is a key measure of a man.

My son calls me Dad, so at least I have that going for me.

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