Ah, Father's Day 2013. Can it really be a whole year since I last shared the wise and prolific lessons my Pop has taught me over time?
Hmm, doesn't seem that long. But then again, my dad is always telling me that the older you get, the faster time goes. Darn it if he didn't get another one right.
And that just happens to be one of the many things I love about my father. If you don't mind, I'm going to tell you about some of the others, too, today.
Such as, his penchant to be able to make me laugh under almost any circumstances legit.
I have to admit that, when I'm really down or sad, it's usually my Pop or my son who can turn that frown upside down. And typically, it's with some comment so irreverent that I can't help but take a step back, breathe and laugh a bit.
I mean, don't get me wrong, my Pop will call me out on the really bonehead things I do. Like that time I ran the half marathon with the sinus infection, he was the first one to say, "Well, why in the hell would you do something so stupid?"
You know, Dad, when you put it that way um, yeah, I got nothin'. Not my best decision to date. Turned right into bronchitis, just like he said it would.
Then again, God help anyone else who dares to insult one of his children in front of my dad. Because it is one thing for him to take us aside and privately question one of our errors in judgment but it is quite another for him to sit quietly by and hear someone - literally anyone - launch a hurtful word in the direction of one of his kids or, even worse, his grandkids. The likelihood of the offender getting away unscathed is very, very slim.
Loyalty and dependability are synonymous with my dad. It's a double-punch of character he passed on to all of us. I can see it in my Kyle, as well.
In fact, I see lots and lots of my Pop in my son. They share these two and many other personality traits; not to mention a collective passion for: swimming fast, eating lots of bread, roughhousing in good-natured fun, watching ultimate fighting competitions or black-and-white movies about WWII, singing beautifully and laughing so loud and hard that they tear up. I really, really love that.
They both also hate when I gush over them; particularly on Sunday mornings in the Tribune Chronicle. I digress
I love how, since the time I was little, my dad would at once be a disciplinarian and an empowerer of individual thought.
I love how he always yells at us to eat and sends us home with bushels of fresh vegetables hand-picked from the garden he painstakingly nurtures all year round.
I love when he tells me stories about his childhood in Italy and reminds me of my heritage. I love how he's encouraged us to embrace tradition and revere God and family above all.
And I love how, when I was eight, he let me run right into the ocean with my sandals on and everything because I'd never seen it before. For that and for so many other things, thank you, Pop.
Happy Father's Day; I love you. And happy Father's Day to Kyle's dad I love you, too, Kerry!
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and one of her dad's three favorite kids. Contact her with great stories about your own dad at firstname.lastname@example.org.