April in Glenwood: Two of the world’s greatest dads
Sunday marks Father’s Day, a time to thank all those dads out there who make a difference in our lives.
This year, I have two fathers in my life who deserve special appreciation.
My dad has a lot to celebrate this summer, as he’s closing in on his second retirement. His first retirement came after working at his job for 30 years. Since he started at 23, 53 was a little young for his strong work ethic to handle. He wasn’t quite ready for hitting the road in a RV to travel America or hunkering down with a coconut cocktail on a sandy beach.
After a second 12-year career, he’s ready now.
If I can think of only one characteristic of my dad — there are so many — a strong work ethic definitely comes to mind. Since my parents were married more than four decades ago, he has always made providing for our family a priority.
My dad still cuts the lawn of my childhood home with a push mower for the exercise. He’s hardly one to stop moving, unless there’s a scary movie on the Syfy Chanel about gigantic spiders taking over the world.
Or the latest “Sharknado” movie.
The best part about shopping for my dad for Father’s Day is he’s easy to buy for, especially when I lived 1,000 miles away in Colorado. He’s a T-shirt guy, which makes life simple on anyone who shops for him. He has been outfitted in several of the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company’s custom T-shirts, as well as Doc Holliday Harley-Davidson apparel.
Now that Will’’s here, I need to find him a World’s Greatest Grandpa shirt.
This Father’s Day is also the first for Will and his dad. Steve is a great father, and his strong love and devotion for Will’s big brother was one of the reasons I fell in love with him. There’s an old wives’ tale that women marry men like their fathers, and I often see the similarities in the two. That strong work ethic is definitely a common denominator. Steve is one of the hardest-working men I’ve ever known, and he has climbed his career ladder with dedication and commitment to his electrical trade.
He’s also handy around the house, too.
Like me, Will is totally smitten with his dad. He smiles immediately when he sees him, and his face automatically lights up with adoration. Of course Will’s first word was Dada, but I’m not taking that personally since that one is a common occurrence in babies. Steve is also the go-to person to get Will to laugh. Which is the same for me.
Not coincidentally, Steve and my dad are two of the funniest people I know.
Laughter has often been the only medicine for both of us to cope with the ups and downs of pregnancy-to-postpartum symptoms. In the last year-and-a-half, my hormones have taken on their own Sharknado-like qualities. Like a twister filled with man-eating fish, there’s no telling what kind of damage my moods can cause in their path.
Luckily Steve is great at heeding the warning signs.
A few years back, I asked my mom what the secret is to a long-lasting marriage. She had an honest explanation. She told me she constantly falls in love with my dad for new reasons she may have not known existed on the day they said their I-dos. Even 40-plus years later. That makes total sense. Since that fateful January day when my pregnancy test read positive, Steve and I have constantly been learning new aspects about each other.
I can’t believe I haven’t scared him off.
Through the jubilation and struggle of childbirth, we’ve grown closer and more connected.
Many of our shared experiences have been extremely personal — having a baby is not for the squeamish — and might be intimidating to anyone who’s not fully committed to raising a family. As soon as we started dating, though, Steve and I both recognized raising family would be a major part of our relationship and commitment to each other. Not coincidentally, my dad is one of my biggest role models for commitment. Especially to family and work.
I’d say I learned from the best.
April E. Clark can’t believe Will is only one month away from his first birthday, and is trying to teach him to say Mama. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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