Tatuś : Polish meaning Daddy
Today is my Dad's birthday. He was born March 21 in Poland. I love and respect him more than I can express. He's the best Dad - even if I had to wait for him a bit.
You see, my dad and I share no DNA. What we do share is a history of memories that I'm pretty sure no other kids on the planet have.
There was the time he taught me how to jump rope. (yes by showing me - whooeee do I wish I had a video of that!) I promised him I would learn to jump to 100 and the day I showed him that I could - you'd have thought I had won a nobel peace prize by his exuberant applause!
There was the day while standing around the burn barrel burning garbage that I asked him as a hesitant, shy, 7 year old - that now that he and Mom were married what should I call him? He responded after a minute saying, "Call me anything you want except for Leak-in-the-roof or Late-for-supper" To which my smart-mouth self replied, "Well Leak-in-the-roof, you're late for supper!"
There was the time Mom had a craving for pizza at midnight and so she got up made homemade pizza (crust and all from scratch!) set the dining table in the formal dining room lit candles, cloth napkins the works! Then woke everyone up, Dad looking just as confused as the kids and we had pizza and soda pop while rubbing sleep out of our eyes and then went back to bed - not 100% knowing if it was a dream or not the next morning.
There was the many, MANY evenings of him and I hunched over at the kitchen table working on the latest math dilemma. If Suzy is driving her car at 100 mph and John is driving his car at 78 mph who will arrive at the intersection first if Suzy is 14 miles away and John is 10 miles away. ?????? My answer: They'll see when they get there. Dad's response: Nooooooo (depending how late at night this was his 'no' might have had a touch of a polish accent in it)
There was the groggy mornings of having multiplication tables questions hurled at me because: You shouldn't need to think about it - you should just know! Know them by instinct I did - and still do (most of them... shh!)
There was the very first time I got a 90% or higher in math on my report card. I set that goal in grade 5 and it took me until grade 7 to reach it - but he made good on his promise and we went on a daddy-daughter date as a reward. I was all dressed up - and so was he! We went to The Olde Spaghetti Factory at the forks in Winnipeg and out to a movie. He even ordered a drink he didn't want (twice because first he ordered the wrong one) so that I could get the 'conductor glass' they had as a promotion. I felt like a movie star that night!
Do you see a math related trend here? Yeah there is one... it wasn't my strong suit and he was determined to help me understand it. That he did as I now work in the financial services industry - without him who knows if I would have the career that I do today.
There was the many, many hours spent in the workshop building crooked boxes (mine) and sanding down finished projects (his). Him standing by and watching me when I needed to do it myself and helping me when I had thrown my hands up in the air and said I QUIT!
We watched our beloved blue bombers try their best! Never did see a grey cup victory though... but Mom made sure we had as many football themed snacks as she could dream up and Dad wore all - and I do mean ALL of his blue bomber gear just for good luck! (including his BB seat cusion even though we were already sitting on the couch!)
You see it't not blood that makes a man a father - it's actions. Actions will always speak louder than words. Sometimes we have to wait for something we need. I'm so glad my Mom picked this great man to be my Dad. I'm even more grateful that Paige has this man for her grandfather. You can see the joy in that little girl's eyes when she sees her papa, even if it's just a picture on a phone or camera, and hear her shout "PAPA!!!!" in that high pitched squeal only little girls can muster.
Love you dad, daddy, tatuś and of course, leak-in-the-roof.
Happy Birthday - and here's to many more!