At 6'2", with his booming voice, my dad was equal parts disciplinarian and snuggler when I was growing up. Along with my mum, the two of them kept my brother and I in check and provided us with an enviable childhood; one that I'm trying to recreate for my children to the best of my ability.
But today, on Father's Day, I'll share my favourite story of dad that pretty much sums up who he is...
When I was in about grade 1, we had the "smoking talk" at school. We were warned of the dangers, the possibility of sickness and even death. Well that was enough to scare the pants off this 6 year old - good work Ontario education system! My dad wasn't a smoker, but he did keep cigars in the basement, and I knew their whereabouts though I can't recall ever seeing him smoke one.
Shortly after "the talk" at school, dad was looking for his cigars, and they weren't in the downstairs fridge where he ways kept them. He tells me he looked everywhere before asking my mum, then my brother if they knew where the cigars were. No dice. Nobody could find them, or knew about their mysterious disappearance.
As a last resort, he came to his little brown eyed girl who surely couldn't have them. "Kristin, have you seen my cigars?", he asked. "Yes", I said. "But I'm not giving them back unless you promise me not to smoke anymore" (likely recapping some of my classroom learnings for him!). "I promise" he said. With that, I promptly reached right beside the fridge, in the dark space between it and the freezer, and pulled out his box of cigars. (He later told me he'd looked everywhere, but never thought to look from the perspective of a 6 year old!)
Fast forward about 13 years. I was 19 and in my first year of university. The phone rang mid-day at my apartment and it was my dad. He was out for lunch with some colleagues/friends and one had just returned from a trip with some cigars, offering one to my dad. I still remember him saying into the phone "Krin, do you mind if I have one?" Dumbstruck, I said "dad, have you not had one all these years?" He answered simply with "no. I promised you I wouldn't".
I'll never forget that day because though I knew my dad was an incredible person, that day he really showed me his amazing character. My dad continues to do everything he can for my brother and I and our families, but this story has always just summed it up for me.
Reliable, trustworthy, loving. These are all words that describe my dad perfectly. I'm very lucky to have a dad like him!