Happy Fathers' Day to all you amazing dads out there. I'm blessed to be able to spend the day with Hans, even if his idea of fun for today is going to the grocery store and filling screw holes in the deck with little rubber stoppers. I am hoping to visit with my own dad this week, so may work from a remote office for a few days!
I sometimes think of dads like types of fabric. For example, you might know a Linen Dad who looks great for a while, but wrinkles easily and needs a lot of upkeep to maintain his constitution. There's the Satin Dad who is shiny and sleek to look at, but can't tolerate any wear and tear, and can easily slip though your fingers. Polyester dad is durable and doesn't let you down, the guy who stays up to all hours putting together those Christmas toys long after you've gone to bed. Nylon Dad has his bike perched on his car at all times, hard to keep in tow and always looking for an adventure. Maybe you have a Wool Dad who makes you feel warm and secure, and you can patch up any holes easily for many years of use. 100% Cotton Dad is robust, authentic, and strong, with a great sense of humor who gets along with everyone.
In reality, most dads are blends of some sort. My own dad is probably a poly-cotton man, who puts his family first and has always been someone who is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty when something needs to be done. My dad could always be found coaching baseball games, building basement playrooms, putting in an above-ground pool, hanging holiday lights and hoisting Santa and his reindeer onto our roof, body surfing at the beach, going to concerts, mowing the lawn and treating us to Dairy Queen. He is the one who always has to do the dirty deed when one of our pets is at the end of its life, and he was constantly in the yard picking up poop, changing litter boxes and tank water, combing fur, clipping nails and cleaning the ferret cage. While he spends a good part of his day assisting my mom a her daily laundry list of home improvement projects, he also follows the exploits of his grandchildren closely. My dad single-handedly chronicled my niece's college sports career in story and photo on Facebook, and always made it up to MA to see Abby's shows and Max's concerts and Josh's baseball tournaments. It was pure joy to travel to Italy with him and hear him reminisce with the kids about his childhood and journey to the US as a young boy. While he's not the greatest communicator, and I think sometimes doesn't pick up my calls simply because he doesn't like to talk on the phone, he stays in the know through my mom and always rolls out the red carpet for any visitors in true DiCenso style.
My dad is also a die-hard technology fan, and has a host of gadgets to maintain, from Apple Watch to iPad, desktop computers, digital cameras and a few Fitbits. I've gotten more than one frustrated call or text when he couldn't find his network or sync his phone to his tablet, but he's always game to try new apps or software to stay connected. I know this pandemic has been tough on him and my mom as they are stuck in the house with few visitors. We had big plans to see Abby's spring shows and go to NYC for Max's graduation, and maybe even see Denison in NCAA post-season play. I wish we could have all celebrated this day together. But I'm thankful that my folks are healthy and that my dad is patient...it's just a matter of time before we can gather again, and he'll be right there with camera in tow, ready to post as the proud grandfather that he is. Love you, Rocco!!