Fathers Day Memories from Daughter

Each year people search for the best Fathers Day ideas to show dad how much he is loved. Millions are spent on loving and funny Fathers Day cards. I will be doing my part to contribute to Hallmark’s bottom line. However, the best Fathers Day gifts revolve around simply spending time together and the memories that are created. The upcoming holiday got me thinking about favorite dad memories, of which there are many. They range from sweet to funny and everything in between. Some I’ve shared numerous times, and others I have kept to myself. But all are equally special. Below are four of my favorite dad memories:

The Joke

Sweet Flour Father's Day CookiegramCredit: Sweet Flour Bake Shop:http://www.flickr.com/photos/36857037@N06/4680027278/When I was nine I was in my parents’ bedroom looking for something. What, I don’t remember, but I was probably up to no good. While there I pulled open one the dresser drawers and the pungent smell of leather wafted towards me. It was dad’s belt drawer. At that moment a joke was born and I couldn’t wait to tell it…or rather play it on him. It involved word play, specifically the word drawers (drawers as something that hold objects, versus the colloquial use of drawers as underwear).

I walked up to my dad, who was reading the newspaper and with as innocent and serious a face as I could muster I asked, “Dad. Why do your drawers smell?” I could feel the laughter building as I waited for his reaction. It was better than I could have ever expected.

What?!” He practically shouted at me. “What did you just ask me?!” I struggled against the laughter that was in my throat, which he probably thought was fear of getting into trouble. I managed to sputter the question out again. “Dad.” Breath. Breathe. “I said…I said, why do your drawers smell?” At that I ran out of the room, both hands covering my mouth as I did not want him to hear me laugh and realize that it must be a joke. I wanted to know what would happen next. I’m so glad I waited because it was classic.

Dad rushed downstairs to the basement to find my mother who was in the laundry room. I followed after him and quietly sat at the top of the stairs so that I could hear their conversation without them seeing me. It went something like this:

Dad: Sweetheart! Sweetheart, do you know what that girl just asked me?
Mom: No. What?
Dad: She asked me why my DRAWERS smell!
Mom: She WHAT?!
Dad: She asked me why my drawers smell! Can you believe that? What’s wrong with her? If that girl is stupid enough to put her face in my drawers, they should stink!

[RELATED HUMOR: Happy Mother's Day from your Loving Unselfish Daughter]

With that, I went to my bedroom, collapsed on the bed, and let wave after wonderful wave of laughter course through my body. I was there for what seemed like hours. Surprisingly, neither parent came in search of me, but they were probably too stunned and didn’t know what to say. Either that, or they were afraid of what else I might ask them. Eventually I told them both about the joke and I am sure they were immensely relieved. The joke is equal parts clever and immature, but will forever be a favorite because of my dad’s reaction, and thus a highly prized memory of him.

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The Hero

At the opposite end of the favorite memory continuum is one that is not funny at all, but
solidified my father as my hero. When I was thirteen and needed to do some research for a report, my dad took me to a neighboring library because it had more resources than our local one. While I was in the stacks looking at the books, a man was looking at me. It made me uncomfortable so I went to tell my dad. He insisted that I go back to the stacks and continue my research. I was furious because I believed he thought I was making an excuse to try to get out of my work. Little did I know it was an opportunity for him to launch a covert operation and see for himself what was going on.Laying On My "S"Credit: JD Hancock: http://www.flickr.com/photos/83346641@N00/3389041486/

When I returned to the stacks, the man also came back. This time he sat on a step stool a few feet away from me and placed a newspaper over his lap. Out of nowhere, my dad comes sprinting down the aisle, startling me and the man. The man jumped up and you could see that his pants were both unbuckled and unzipped. Yes, folks a pervert was in the library. Dad chased him through the library and out the front door. I ran after my dad and got there just in time to see him jump off of the top step to keep the man from escaping. Dad caught a piece of him, but the man was able to wiggle away. l will always remember that unnerving experience. The pervert is just a vague memory, but the vision of dad leaping off the top step like Superman is as clear as the day it happened. My dad. My Hero.

The Date Keeper

Not all of my favorite dad memories are relegated to the land of childhood. Many of them have happened during adulthood too. Smiles captured at my wedding, laughter during conversations and enjoying simple things like going out for ice cream. However, one of my all-time favorite dad memories as an adult occurred when I was in graduate school.

The afternoon that I had to defend my dissertation was a stressful one. Years of hard work and research on a book that would determine whether or not I would graduate all came down to a presentation to a committee. My parents and select friends attended the defense. Following the presentation we waited in a room as my committee decided my fate. After about thirty minutes the committee chair walked in and announced, “Congratulations, you are now Dr. KimChaos!” Everyone applauded and I felt a sense of relief. But what I remember most about that moment, what I will never forget is looking at my parents and then specifically at my dad, intently writing something on a piece of paper. I walked over to see what it was. On this paper he had written, “Kim became Dr. Kim at 2:32 pm.” I know! Is there anything sweeter than that? And to that burning question of what became of my dissertation? Well, it’s doing what many (I daresay most) dissertations do. It’s serving as a very nice bookend in the annals of the library stacks at my alma mater.

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The Comforter

Rewind back to childhood. Being small has its advantages. Yes, there was an early bed time, or eating the vegetables that were on your plate. You had to follow their rules. However, I would do that all again (at least for a little while) for one more opportunity to have the following memory come to life once more.

Have you ever pulled into your driveway late on a chilly rainy night? You’re cold and you’re tired. Your greatest wish is that someone would pick you up, carry you inside to your bedroom, put your pajamas on and tuck you into bed. All without having to lift a finger. In fact you’re sleeping while all of this happens. Sigh. Sounds like heaven, right? And heaven it was when it happened those many years ago when I was a little girl. After a long day and a ride home in the back seat of my parents’ car, my dad did just that. It was the safest, most comforting feeling on the planet, yet to be duplicated in my adulthood.

That’s a sampling of my favorite dad memories. Happy Fathers Day Daddy. Thank you for the memories. I can’t wait to make more.