You can still need your dad

paul gumbinner circa 1972Circa 1872. Me=Red Dress. Him=Human Trampoline

You can be 4o(ahem) years old and still need your dad.

You can still need him as a grandpa and a friend too.

You can still call him just to say hi–or pretending just to say hi when you really have something you need to talk about and you’re hoping he will be able to read your mind and call back and say, “Hey…is there something you want to talk about?”

You can still hope he picks up the phone the very second you need his gazpacho recipe, the shortcut around the traffic on 95 North, or the name of that guy who was in that movie we saw once with the thing with that guy who was in that other thing.

You can still feel proud when you get to pick up the bill at lunch.

You can still feel proud that you could sneak out to squeeze in a lunch with him in the first place, just you and him.

You can still feel proud that he wants to take the grandkids out to lunch, just them and him.

paul gumbinner as grandpa | mom-101

You can still be grateful that he wants to give you the dating or career or friendship advice you need even if you don’t want to hear it. And even if you think you don’t want to hear it, you can be grateful that he cares at all.

You can still smile quietly to yourself when he lets you vent for a full 40 minutes about one of life’s dramas, and he responds only, “I understand,” because he doesn’t want to fix you, he just knows you need to be heard.

You can still roll your eyes when he tells you the same story for the fortieth time, but secretly you’re happy because it never gets old.

You can still look at his salt-and-pepper hair and see him like you saw him when you were 12: the man who went on all the scary theme park rides with you, the man who told you the right way to put on mascara because he learned it from his cosmetics client, the man who let you try the wine, the man who paid you a quarter to walk on his back.

You can still get excited when he invites you over for a cookout on his terrace because it will be the best thing in the entire world. And because he knows you don’t want the tomatoes in your salad and doesn’t give you a hard time about it.

paul gumbinner at the grill |  mom-101

You can still need your dad.

Because he is utterly, wonderfully, perfectly need-able.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you. And I need you.


18 thoughts on “You can still need your dad”

  1. This is lovely.

    I definitely still need my dad. We’ve been on a scary roller-coaster with his health over the past couple of years and I was forced to think about the idea of a world without him and it was not a world I wanted to know. I’m feeling extra grateful this Fathers’ Day to be able to call him and be able to tell him I love him.

  2. I’m all teary, too. This is exactly how I feel about my dad. We’re lucky, aren’t we?

    1. See now, I just thought she did it on purpose as a joke. 🙂

      Thanks Liz, you made me miss my dad even more now. I did have a good phone conversation with him today, but living far away from your parents sometimes just stinks. Beautiful post 🙂

  3. My father was a short-tempered, selfish, and vindictive man. As children my siblings and I used to pray that he would die, or move far away. We couldn’t understand why any children would ever be sorry to hear that their parents were getting a divorce. We would have been thrilled. Now that he’s in his 80s, demented and finally finally dying, he is just as loathesome as he ever was. We are doing all that we have to do as far as caregiving is concerned, but when he dies, we will feel nothing but relief that we don’t have to deal with him any more….

    1. I’m sorry Sophie, I know there are many stories like this, including from close friends. Having a child is no guarantee of being a good parent.

      I feel grateful that I have two wonderful parents–and step-parents and inlaws–and don’t take it for granted for a minute. Which is why it’s important for me to tell them, in posts like these.

  4. I have so many friends who lost parents this year. My own dad has been gone for six years. I have made a vow to cherish every single second with my mom while I can.

    Lovely post.

  5. I am very touched by your moving words about your dad. Glad he is in you and your children’s lives as an active presence. My father (and my husband’s dad) passed away years back and I miss my dad daily. My goal is for my kids to have a wonderful appreciation of their father and so far, despite their grumbles (they are teens after all) they love and admire him very much.

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