Saturday, June 19, 2010

Word To Your Papa.

Like a lot of people of my generation, I have two dads, and not in a “Fabulous” sort of way. For most of my life, I've considered my step-dad to be my Father.

'Papa' came into our lives when I was eight and my sister was six. He was a friend-of-a-friend of my mom's, and one night after the divorce, we were at a Friday night social gathering, and he talked my mom into taking a ride on his motorcycle, as she had never ridden one before. Slick move, since 28 years later, they're still together.

He had a rough go of it, too. The benefit of informally adopting kids that age is that he got to miss the diaper years. He also missed some key formative years, so he had some somewhat developed little people to go along with his new girlfriend.

There were some glitches, but at the end of the day, he did a marvelous job. As a father, he always (well, usually) had the patience needed to deal with us as kids. He was fond of taking any opportunity to teach us something, not in a lecturing sort of way, but more questioning, like “what do you see here that's relevant,” or “how do you suppose that happened.”

Not that he didn't lecture, but it was a form of discipline. He wasn't inclined to physical punishment, but I seem to recall lectures that could last 3-4 hours. He claims that I'm exaggerating the time, but that's how I remember it.

Of all the fond memories, it's the every-day ones that warm my heart. Summer nights at the fire pit. Autumn wood-cutting sessions. Rubber band fights. Teasing, teasing, and more teasing. Taking guns to the dump to make the cans dance. Board game nights. Inappropriate jokes. I could go on....

When I got married, he honored me by being my best man, and when I have a son, I'll get to fulfill my life-long ambition of naming him after his grandpa.

So today, love and gratitude to my Papa, and a hearty “Cheers!” to all the men who understand that they are practicing the noblest of professions: Parenthood.


  1. As a single mom with two kids, I LOVE that story! Send your papa a BIG Happy Father's Day from the Lone Star state!!

    The "Not in a fabulous way" thing cracked my shit up!

  2. That's pretty incredible. Reminds me a lot of my situation with my stepdad :)

  3. I love your honest, tribute, basked in reality and mixed in with magic. There is good n' bad in every relationship; we need to remember a bit of both to keep our feet in reality! Love this~
    Happy Father's Day to you!

  4. What a great tribute. A very happy father's day to you and your Papa. I am sure he will cherish this post for a long time to come :0)

  5. A wonderful story, I never knew my dad as he died when I was 3yrs. So have never sent or said Happy Father's Day.
    I hope you have a special day.

    Take care.

  6. Hi Will .. what a lovely tribute .. he'll be chuffed to know this. The fond and happy memories last - and bring smiles and chuckles to our faces many years later ..

    Enjoy your day .. with family and friends .. Hilary

  7. Will that's wonderful he could occupy such a special place in your heart.
    And I believe you when you say the lectures were 2-3 hours!

  8. That's so sweet he was your best man!

  9. I'll second that. Parenting is the noblest profession, one defiend by love, hard work, and sacrifice. Challenging, but rewarding.

    Stephen Tremp

  10. Lovely tribute. Happy Father's Day to you!

  11. Wow. You are truly blessed!

  12. I've got a stepdad who is pretty great too. He came into my life later (I was 14) so never felt it was his role to be 'dad' (I would have resisted strongly) but I am always thankful he kept my mom sane for a long while there (eventually her nuts thing came back, but it's been a valiant effort). For my kids, he is definitely one of their grandpas.

  13. It IS the noblest profession, side by side with motherhood. Hope you had a most noble day yesterday! (I just found you through KarenG)