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Sunday, June 15, 2008

She has to top this forever

Today I will enjoy my second Father's Day. I have decided, after much pressuring to just make up my frickin' mind already, that I will have breakfast with Erin and Emily, take a long bike ride in the hills behind Menlo Park and Redwood City, and then take Erin to some farmzooment park called Happy Hollow.

I'm supposed to be relaxing all day, right? No.

For a lot of dads Father's Day means a day off, which means more time spent with family. I can't really take a day off, because if I did that would mean less time spent with my family.

And there are other people involved in making me a father: Emily, of course, who stayed married to me for a long time, deciding every day whether or not she still liked me enough to keep me around (I always squeaked by); and Erin.

I've been listening to that Barenaked Ladies CD a lot over the last few days, and there is one song in particular that stays in my head. It's the short one, and it goes:

There are things that make me mad

You are not one of them.

There are things that make me sad

You are not one of them.

There are things that make me Dad

You seem to be all of them.

As I said, I'm pretty sure Emily had a lot to do with it, but the song tells a heart-truth.

So, because Erin plays as big a role in my being a father as I do, I'm pretty sure that making sure that she has a great day is just as important as basking in the adoration of my family. On Father's Day least of all can I choose to not be a father.

So we're going to Happy Hollow and she'll pet some goats or something; make friends with a chicken, then eat it.

And I'll carry her around like I do every day, and I'll tell her that I love her over and over again, and I'll laugh at how cute she is when she says "Moooooo!"

I do get some time, just for me, though. I don't need the whole day, but I'll take part of it. That's a little gift for me.

Erin will be very hard pressed to ever top her very first Father's Day present to me, however.

We were somewhere between the Grapevine and Gilroy on I-5 on the night before Father's Day last year. We thought we'd make it home, but we ate something unfortunate and just had to lay low for the night. So we found a highway hotel and settled in.

It was the end of Erin's first trip to Disneyland; she was seven and half weeks old, and I was seven and a half weeks new as a dad. As we readied ourselves for bed I played with Erin as I had been doing for about 53 days. I prompted her to say "Hi Daddy" as I had been doing since she began babbling a few weeks earlier: Every sound she made was a word, so I thought. "She's going to be talking any day now, self," I said frequently to myself.

"Hi da-ee."

Wha? Gah! Holy crap!

I looked up at Emily and she stared back, absolutely stunned.

"I would never have believed you if you told me she said that and I hadn't been here."

No kidding.

So, Erin's first Father's Day present to me was to look me straight in the eye and say "Hi da-ee".

I then used up an hour and a half of space on the camcorder trying to catch her saying it again. She didn't repeat it until six months later, at Christmas. Again, when I didn't have the camera on her, although Emily Coda'd her previous statement.

It was great hearing it the second time. But, that's the last time I let her get me the same thing for two gift-giving holidays in the same year.

Two presents, kid. My birthday is in there too. I like books.

"Happy Father's Day, guys."

You said it, baby girl.


Badass Geek said...

You're not my dad, but Happy Father's Day nonetheless. You seem to be a truly devoted father, and that deserves more recognition than one day can provide.

Rock on.

Black Hockey Jesus said...

We're in the same vein today. I read this after I posted. Swear to God. Scout's honor. All those truth affirmations

Busy Mom said...

Happy Father's Day!

Natalie said...

aww...that is the sweetest thing! happy father's day!

KT said...

Happy Father's Day, BPDad. Enjoy your day. I like that my husband enjoys spending his day with his family too. Noble quality. And I LOVE LOVE that BNL song too. Wish it were longer.

Anyhow.........enjoy your second dad's day. Hope she gets you a good present. LOL

BookMomma said...

Just wanted to take a mo and wish one of my favorite bloggy Dads a very happy Father's Day. I hope the FD Fairy brought beer.

Swirl Girl said...

Happy Your Day BPdad...

My hubby is sleeping in for a change. Then the girls are going to sing a song for him. He will open a few badly wrapped gifts - then we are off on a dad-venture!

Enjoy your day with your darlings!

Mandy said...

Happy Fathers Day!

Aunt Becky said...

Happy Father's Day, dude.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Happy Father's Day!

I like your musings about how to spend the day. We belong to a swim club and the joke among my friends and I is that on Mother's Day it is full of Dads and kids because the Mom's need the day off. On Father's Day it's full of Dads and kids because "it's Father's Day, you need to spend time with the kids!"

Heather said...

Happy Father's Day, BPD. Here's to another year of Dadventures.

Backpacking Dad said...

badass geek: will do. Thanks.

black hockey jesus: :} I believe you, but only because it's Father's Day and fathers don't lie to each other on father's day. I'm also a millionaire and really really really stupidly good-looking.

busy mom: thank you!

natalie: too nice of you to stop by all the way from Turkey. Tell Brian "Happy Father's Day".

kt: I think that song is the perfect length :}

bookmama: only hockey season weren't over by the time Father's Day rolled around.

swirl girl: badly wrapped gifts are the best ones.

mandy: thank you. Wish David a Happy Father's Day for me.

aunt becky: thanks bra.

jenn: so your pool, like mine, is always full of dads :}

heather: cheers to that!

SciFi Dad said...

Happy Father's Day, BPD.

Missy said...

Happy Father's Day!

for a different kind of girl said...

Hope you had an absolutely fantastic Father's Day! If Erin needs any help in the book shopping area, have her give me a call. I'll do what I can to hook her up. I can't promise they'll be wrapped in gold, though.

Mary Beth said...

Hope you had a great father's day - I've had such fun going back and reading all about your adventures with Erin! Hope the farmzooment park lived up to it's hype - I mean, who wouldn't enjoy watching their daughter get up close and fuzzy with goats??

Ali said...

i never heard of father's day being a day off...please please don't tell my husband that, though pleasethanks.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

"I then used up an hour and a half of space on the camcorder trying to catch her saying it again."

Cracked me up!

Happy Father's Day.

Whit said...

I love that you took her to Disneyland at that age.

Sounds like a good day was had by all.

Patti Mayo said...

Well, Happy Belated Father's Day.

Glad you had a good one though I do have to say, Erin saying hi dadee at 7 1/2 weeks is a tough one to top.

My darling husband put together the twins' swing set and then went to work. But I cooked him a kick ass breakfast and brought him dinner. His present will be a new cell phone when he picks one out.

Kids are great. I think I'll keep mine.