I was hoping I'd be able to give my dad a grandson for his birthday this year. Bennett arrived eleven days too early to make that happen, so Dad's stuck with a silly blog post in his honor instead.
My dad was a hands-on parent. He watched Sesame Street with me, did my hair on the days my mom left for work early, drove me to dance lessons and encouraged me to run for student council, try out for the tennis team and apply to Vanderbilt. This was perhaps a let down for the man who on the day I was born, asked me if I was going to Yale or Radcliffe. In his eyes, I would always be good enough, smart enough and capable enough to make big things happen. And he was always there for me through the good, the bad and the ugly. Thankfully, the very good has overshadowed the bad.
One Valentine's Day he read to my first grade class. He came to school dressed all in red to celebrate the occassion. I was so proud as he sat in front of the room and made sure I was seated promptly in the front row so he wouldn't forget which child was his.
When my girl scout troop went "camping" at a cabin in Minnesota, he helped chaperone the trip. As much as I am sure our troop leaders were totally capable of building fires and earning our badges without a man around, it was helpful to have someone there to chop the wood, start the fires and put my hair in pigtails.
Then there were trips to the circus. After he bought me a shriner's hat, I asked if it was time to go. I think he was able to trick me into staying by promising cotton candy.
He took me to my first NHL hockey game when I was still way too young to understand. However, I was able to appreciate it after he warned me that the players knew when a fan fell asleep and would send a hockey puck in their direction. Ok, maybe that memory is a bit ugly. But at least I stayed awake.
With all the neat things my dad made sure I was exposed to, I know he is looking forward to doing the same for Bennett. There will be trips to the zoo, baseball games, viewings of Toy Story and Peter Pan, sledding on the one day Nashville gets snow, and maybe one day college trips to Yale and Harvard.