“I don’t like you, I only like my Mom.”
Safe to say I was a bit of a difficult two year old? I said this line to almost everyone, including my Dad. There were only a handful of people that I did like and would go to.
Now my Dad still likes to bring it up, 20 years later, how I ran around telling him that I didn’t like him. I defend myself by saying, “Though I didn’t like you, it never meant I didn’t love you.” To which he hasn’t yet had a good response for, but I wait for the day he does. Hopefully I’ll be quick enough to respond with something witty.
I did have reason to be slightly perturbed with him, since he had attempted to name me T-Bone when I was born. Thank you Mom for stopping that from happening! Though I think he was probably hoping for a son the second time around, but was graced with me instead.
I did grow out of the “I don’t like you” phase of my life and since he didn’t have any boys, both my sister and I got to learn how to do stereotypical boy activities. So, overall I think my Dad is happy with the way things turned out considering he taught us how to shoot guns as well as drive quads, tractors, and snowmobiles. We’d clean out bins and haul grain for him, it was a family farm and I know I was happy to help.
Eventually I came to love being out in the field with him or in the shop. In grade twelve I felt lucky as he had just bought a rusted out Mustang and needed to take it apart. After school and on weekends, when I didn’t have school work or sports, I would head out to the shop to help him. I got to spend some quality time with my Dad.
He and his friend then built the car almost entirely from scratch the next few years; only a small bit of the frame had escaped rust. I was always excited coming home from University to see the progress he was making on it and today it is an absolute “beaut.”
Throughout my life he has always been encouraging, though sometimes annoyingly so, it was a full half an hour of me being home from Australia before he asked when I was getting a job. I missed you too Dad.
He’s always been patient though... especially when I backed the grain truck into the semi. At least that small accident wasn’t anything serious. I just barely bumped the semi with the grain spout and simply bent the grill a little. The semi was still damaged though so as I was apologizing and crying he just shook his head and grabbed a pair of pliers. Bending the grill back in place he said something along the lines of, “Quit crying. It’s not like you got hurt.” No, I wasn’t hurt but I felt terrible about backing into the semi.
Now being off the farm, we sold it a few years ago, I do miss the lifestyle. I miss going out to the tractor or combine with him to visit as we went back and forth in a field. Now I get to jump in the tow truck with him when I go home on occasion, depends if he has to pick up passengers or not.
I also miss the family suppers though. On the farm lunches were always sent out and eaten in the tractor, but not supper. That meal was almost always eaten together. Dad would always stop to either come into the house to eat at the table or we would package everything up, grab plates, and head out to the field to eat on the tailgate of a truck with him. No matter what he always had a bit of time to set aside for us, despite there being a storm coming in and needing to get the crop planted.
Now my family has always said “I love you,” whenever we leave the house or hang up the phone. It’s what we want the last thing to be when we leave each other just in case anything ever happens to one of us. When hanging up the phone with Dad I normally have to say it first. He’ll always say it back, no matter where he is, but I take little victories whenever he says it before I do.
Now Father’s Day isn’t just for Dad’s, but for grandfathers as well. I might not be old enough to remember my grandfathers, both passing at relatively young ages. But I do have Vic, my grandmother’s partner, who is an absolutely amazing person. Though we might not technically be related you are still family and we all love you greatly!