It’s not as though me and my Dad built decks for a living or built lots of decks together.
We built one deck together. It took us a few days. And by us I mean mostly my Dad.
Up front, I’m not sure whether I was more of a help or hindrance.
I recall smashing my thumb with a hammer. Dad said, more or less, “Great, your Mom is going to kill me”, with a laugh. It was a family joke. She understood. I had suffered many injuries in the care of everyone, as well as those that happened while with friends, in school, alone. I was known as clumsy. Turns out I actually had: Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, and Hypermobile Joint Syndrome. It’s very possible I’m also clumsy.
Why was I at the camp (some call them cottages or summer home, in Northern Ontario, they’re called camps) helping my Dad with the deck? I seemed an unlikely choice, but my older brother who was actually helpful in building situations was away at university and everyone else was working. My Dad was on vacation and we needed a deck at the camp.
We’d work during the day and in the evening we’d have supper then ice cream, watch TV, I’d read to my Dad, or we’d both read to ourselves…and we’d talk.
You may have noticed I refer to my father as Dad, never my father because he’s a Dad, always. Funny, smart, sweet, sometimes annoying, sometimes really annoying, kind, and fun. He loved friends and family, cars, talking about cars, looking at cars, fixing cars, driving cars, watching cars, taking pictures of cars and with cars, also, cats, beer, eating, TV, movies, working, laughing, dancing; he was a gentleman and a gentle man, hopelessly silly…and always a Dad to me and my brother.
There’s never a picture of him where that mischievous twinkle isn’t in his eye except when he had dark sunglasses on, but we know the twinkle’s still there.
I’m not sure we were always aware of how lucky we were to have a Mom & Dad, not just a Mother & Father. We did always know we were loved. Of course, look at us, we were adorable. I love my Mom & Dad today and every day.
I have lived at least six or seven lifetimes in the past 30 or so years since those days at the camp. I wish my memory was perfect or more robust, but the happiness I felt in that time has never faded in my heart.
Enjoy the times you have because you never know until later those times were actually treasures.
Happy Dad’s Day to all those men who care enough to be Dads, not just fathers!