When I heard about this “Super Dad” theme, I went into a frenzy. “Who do I write about? My dad or my husband? My dad or my husband?” They’re both great and I didn’t want to hurt either’s feelings. So what if my dad’s been dead since 2005? What’s that got to do with anything?
So I’m copping out here and doing a dad/husband hybrid Super Dad post. (Is that allowed? Is that weird?) You know how they always say that girls end up marrying their fathers? (This isn’t helping the weirdness, is it?) I sort of did. While there are qualities about my husband that make me think: “Ugh, Daddy would never have done that” and others that make me think: “He didn’t react to that at all like my father. Thank Gd.”, they share a lot of fantastic traits.
My father changed diapers and got up in the middle of the night back in the 1960’s when it was hardly fashionable. My husband and I have triplets. Simple math proves that even if you have both parents doing everything all the time, you’re still always out-numbered. My husband was in there with me every step of those infant years (it felt like years anyway) working beside my lifeless body on the assembly line: Making bottles, getting up every 3 hours around the clock… I think he would have breastfed if there were a way… and I’m sure in my exhausted, delusional, hormoned-up state, I probably suggested it more than once… and not very politely.
Not to mention that my in-laws had come from Florida to visit us in the hospital when my mother-in-law was suddenly diagnosed with terminal cancer and put into hospice care. So after I went home a few days later, my husband helped take care of two newborns and a wiped-out, anemic, dish rag of a wife, then left to bring breast milk to the one remaining baby in the hospital 40 minutes away en route to his mother at another hospital 2 hours away.
Right now, it seems that one of my daughters doesn’t prefer either my husband or me and the other seems more of a mommy’s girl. I couldn’t be selfishly happier but I also lament just a little that neither at the moment is a daddy’s girl. I’ve unabashedly held that very special title from as far back as I can remember and refuse to give up that status just because I’m 53 or because he’s dead. Any woman I know who’s a big sports nut now, is one because she was a daddy’s girl then and watching sports meant spending more time with daddy.
My dad once pulled over the car to chase my balloon that had blown out the window. It popped on a tree before he got to it. I remember feeling bad for him when he came back snapping his fingers with a disappointed look on his face: “I almost had it.” There were other times when he would stalk the ice cream truck for a mile in the car hoping the driver would eventually stop so we could get ice cream. Once, we somehow misplaced the truck (or he sensed he was being followed and intentionally lost us) so Dad just drove us to an ice cream parlor.
Isn’t it interesting how my husband and father each reached “Super Dad” status in my mind and my writing?: My husband by simultaneously coping with a dying parent, driving 150 miles every day and staying awake with three screaming babies for weeks on end, and my daddy by buying me ice cream.
Lori Shandle-Fox is a humor writer. Her Laughing IS Conceivable eBooks and blogs can be found at: http://laughingisconceivable.com. Lori is a native New Yorker currently living in North Carolina, USA with her husband, Lloyd and their 10 1/2 year old triplets.