My dad’s proud that he knows who “Little Wayne” is

Here’s the column my dad wrote for the paper. In honor of Father’s Day, I’ll share it with you guys. He’s funny. And self-deprecating. And like I said yesterday, doesn’t give himself nearly as much credit as he should. Must be where I get it from.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this today.  There are probably a few dads out there that truly believe the quote on a T-shirt I wear that proclaims I am, in fact, cool.  I don’t believe my girls have ever noticed, but I do have the shirt.

Laura, my oldest of three daughters, is a writer, and she reminded me that I needed to write a corresponding article to hers for Father’s Day, a job much easier said than done.

I like to keep up with the girls , and I like to think I’m “with it.” After all, I know who Justin Bieber is, and I have an iPhone.  I can Skype and I know who Little Wayne is too!  However, they’re just not impressed.

Having three daughters, a wife, and a female dog in the house means that the garage and the yard are my get away, although the dog usually runs circles around me in the yard and chews up the grass.  Supposedly, she’s playing but I really know that she is trying to drive me crazy!  Anyway, the house is usually full of girlfriends, and often some boys too.  I haven’t done much in the intimidation department since they keep coming back.

The family has been patient with me when I complain about the chick flicks and the colossal amount of hair care products everywhere.  Once in a while they even let me put on the History Channel or a John Wayne movie.  Although, I have noticed that usually I’m the only one left in the room.  Is it just me or is there something wrong when you go downstairs to the home theater and watch a love story?  When all we need is a few good explosions, car crashes, and helicopter scenes?

When our oldest daughter was six or seven, we started playing softball.  Three girls later, I’ve helped or coached their teams over the last 19 years.  I’ve enjoyed the smack of the ball in the glove, the crack of the bat, and…oh yeah, the time I got whacked in the back of the head by a foul ball.  That works out pretty good when I need an excuse for forgetting things all the time.  I noticed as a coach though that it’s not a good idea to give direction to your own daughters, but it’s OK to give tips to everyone else.  When I’m standing at first base and my daughter strikes out, why do I get an ugly look?

Speaking of, once at dinner when they were younger, they were having fun using sign language.  I noticed they were signing away, then looking at me and laughing.  I told them several times to knock it off, and finally – maybe out of curiosity – I said, “Don’t do that anymore or I’ll have to get ugly!” The quick response…”It’s too late!” Where’s the respect these days?

I’ve always drawn the line at “dress up” and painting my fingernails.  However, once when I was at a weak moment, they did put those hair things all over my head – what are they called? Hair was never my forte, which would explain why people looked at my kids with a look of disdain, sadness, or barely contained laughter whenever mom was out of town and dad was in charge.  I didn’t get many points in outfit selection either…

I’m not that great with cars but I have taught them how to check the oil and their tire pressure.  However, when something is wrong, they know better than to ask me to “take a look.”  Once, when my daughter said she had a tail light out, I gladly “fixed” it.  The only problem was, I changed the wrong one!  I’m just not handy with tools either, which is why it’s a running joke in the family to get me anything handy for Christmas or birthday.  It’s just a wasted effort.

Don’t get me wrong, I take my job seriously, and in fact I think I’ve done OK.  I’ve tried not to spoil them but it’s been pretty easy to take advantage of me.  The girls have done exceptionally well in school, stayed out of jail, and have pretty good reputations.  They know their dad means business when it’s business time, but they also know they mean the world to me.

As the father of three girls, I’ve seen a few things over the years and I feel truly blessed.  They’ve all matured into smart, talented young ladies that make me proud to be their dad.  They know I’m cool, I’ve got the T-shirt.

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