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Why I love my Father

January 8, 2007

His eyes are closed or at least it looks like it to me and he is driving the car with his knee but it looks as though he will crash the car any bleedin second. I am shrieking my lungs out and pleading and begging with him to wake up and drive his beat up blue beetle bug. He does and we sing “LA Freeway” because his radio is busted. Then we sing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “Leather Winged Bat”. He teaches me to love music because we sing together. The car stops and we hop out into the spring (I think?) air of Gunpowder Park and take a familiar route for a hike. We walk and talk about whatever it is that 4 year olds talk about and we listen for birds and watch for snakes. We walk around the same path more than once and I start to become annoyed that we are walking the same path over and over. My Dad says that he thinks he saw something here the other day but can’t remember what it was exactly. We tramp around and I become bored with our hike and want to go home. Finally he shouts, “What is that?” I look down where he is pointing and see a small rack of deer antlers laying on the ground near a termite eaten log. I grab it and can not believe my fortune. What a treasure. I feel more than elated that I, deer tracker extraordinaire, have found it on my “own”. My father has the compassion to wait to tell me he planted it there for about 10 years so I believe for a long, long time it was my brilliance that discovered such a treasure. I loose it eventually or maybe I think it is yucky sometime in my preteen years. I don’t need the proof I found it but it would be a good treasure to have kept.

Later on, in my preteen years, I get my period while I am in CA for the summer with my Dad. My Nanny is home with me and I have to spend about 20 minutes on the toilet while she runs to VONS to get me pads. I am so mortally embarrassed and my Uncle Dave teases me about my armpit hair starting to come in. My Dad is so proud. He is so genuinely proud and happy for me and acts so naturally that it dampens my embarrassment and I am actually excited when he wants to take me to dinner at El Torito (sp?), my favorite Mexican restaurant. Even my evil stepmothers starving me all day “So you will not waste such an expensive meal on such a little girl for nothing really special. No one took me out to dinner when I got my period….but your Dad…” doesn’t make me not want to go. I get my favorite tostadas and my Dad tells the waiter it is a special occasion we are celebrating. I sit frozen in fear that he would tell the authentic Mexican waiter that we are there celebrating my period but he uses good judgement guided by the fear on my face and tells him it is just a special family day.

A year before that my Dad takes me to Mexico for a whole week to camp on the beach in La Bouf a Dora (sp?) and it means blow hole in Spanish. They have a blow hole at the cliffs and natural hot springs on the beach. I get sun poisoning that I am just starting to see in my 35 year old face but don’t care. I get food poisoning or tourista but don’t care because it is the most magical trip I have ever been on. We sleep in a tiny pup tent and listen to the waves that sound like they will crash right on top of us, crushing us while the full moon lights up our sky while we sleep.
It is easy to list all the reasons I love my Dad and why so many things in my life are and were magical because of him. My life was not always magical and his choices directly resulted in much unhappiness in my life. The happiness and badness are not mutually exclusive. You can have the good even when there is some bad. You can live with the bad and still remember the good. They both exist and that is what life is made of. Sometimes I love him despite those things that happened that were bad. Sometimes I don’t know why I love him.

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