A Dad and Mom story in honor of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) ….
I’ve called my father, “Daddy” my entire life and my Mother I’ve called “Mom”; the main reason I can think I did this is because Mom was “the enforcer” of rules and Daddy was the “treat buyer and gift giver”. With no sons and six daughters my Dad is a total softy! Dads are important and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am for my AMAZING Dad.
My Dad has black hair with just a few stray hairs. He is 5 ft 8inch and built. I think having muscles comes easier to him than most people or something!His olive skin is lined with just a few wrinkles on his forehead and by the corners of his light brown eyes. In a nut-shell, my Dad looks like he stumbled upon the fountain of youth.
When he and my Mom met, he was a young Air Force cadet that had traveled the world. He has seriously been the coolest places..I’m so jealous!
Here is their story:
“How I Met Your Mother”
My Mom had gone to Colorado to live with her sister and experience life away from the small Illinois town she grew up in. My Mom is a fighter with a work ethic like no other. With no job lined up she headed for the Rocky Mountains and ended up working at the movie theater on the Air Force Base. Mom has always been devoted to staying active and eating healthy. (once she went on this super organic-like dandelion and tree leaf eating organic diet. One time my grandma put a poisonous leaf in her salad as a joke…and my poor Mom ate it! I’ll share that story one of these days!) Quickly after settling in, she was running on the treadmill and lifting small weights at the gym on base.
My Dad was a wanna-be-body builder at the time. His life was filled with Protein, Protein Shakes, Vegetables, Lean Meat and an untouchable three hour allotment of “lifting” time in the gym. He was a city-boy who grew up in a rundown apartment in the crowded city of Chicago.
When he first saw my Mom at the theater he was transfixed on her beauty. With her elbow length nut-brown hair, long and
elegant neck and cute slightly up-turned nose-she was stunning! He wanted to ask her for her number right then and there. As he tried to come up with some kind of debonaire thing to say he headed towards her window. He stared at her blankly for a few realizing up close she was ridiculously pretty.
“Hi, how are you?” she asked smiling, her eyes twinkling with mischievousness.
My Dad opened his mouth but NOTHING came out.
She stared at him looking confused. “Sir?”
He sputtered out the movie he wanted to see and after paying fled away from her presence. He felt like kicking himself, but he was used to this feeling. That was his flaw…he could not talk to pretty girls…even if his life depended on it.
2 days later…
My Dad was at the gym…his muscles burning as he lifted the dumbbells. He threw down the weights on a spongy blue mat and mopped his forehead with his towel. The gym, like most gyms was equipped with about 400 mirrors. My Dad looked in the mirror as he took a swig from his water bottle of his now lukewarm water and suddenly he nearly fell over. Among the body builders, fat fighters and buzz cuts was a girl…not just any girl..the girl. The girl from the theater! It was like fate had brought her here. His water bottle fell from his hand sending water flying across his work out partner as it hit the floor.
Jill, his work-out partner, flung herself up and grabbed the water bottle and locked eyes with my Dad’s eyes, lethally. Jill was the only girl my Dad could seem to talk to; it was probably because all of the protein and steroids she had taken that caused her to look more like a man than a woman. “What the heck!” She demanded in her deep woman body-builder voice.
“S-sorry,” My Dad mumbled still staring at the girl from the theater.
Jill followed his gaze and then rolled her eyes. “Why don’t you just focus on the workout and stop checking out every girl you see!” she said and swiftly picked up a 30Lb dumbbell like it was made of feathers.
“That’s not just any girl…its the movie theater girl!”
Jill put down the weight and put her hand on where her hips had once been. She raised a pointy eyebrow, “Her?”
My Dad nodded.
“What are you waiting for? Go talk to her!” Jill snapped her towel playfully at my Dad.
“Ouch!” My Dad winced as the “playful” towel slap made contact with his skin.
“Wait…Pete, she looks REALLY young. Like…really young.”
My Dad studied my Mom as she prepared to do leg lifts. Something about her looked younger than he remembered…that he couldn’t deny. “She’s not wearing make-up like she was last time.” He said.
Jill shook her head forcefully. “No, No. She’s gotta be like 18; maybe 19-tops. And a 19 year old is gonna want nothing to do with a 26 year old. She’s gonna think you’re an old man!”
My Dad wasn’t gonna give up. Something in his heart seemed to whisper not to let this girl go.
He took a step towards her…then another…then another…then-he was running back to Jill, petrified.
“You really have a problem you know that! I think you need to see someone!” Jill said wiping off the condensation that had gathered near her reseeding hair line.
“Wait! You could go talk to her for me!”
Jill looked at the girl. “Are you for real?”
“Please! You owe me!” He begged her and then said, “Remember that time when the guys at Big–
Jill flung her hand in his face immediately silencing him. “Fine!” She hissed.
My Dad watched barely breathing as Jill strolled over to my Mom. All he could see was Jill and the girl laughing and then Jill pointed at him. He waved feeling totally dorky.
Jill came back over with a smug look of accomplishment plastered on her face. She waved a piece of paper in her hand. “Now no one owes anybody anything!” she said and handed my Dad the paper with the girl’s name, Patricia, and a phone number. “But,” Jill added, “She is 19 just like I guessed. Gosh I’m good. So…good luck with that!”
My Dad hardly heard her. He felt like he could fly he was so full of happiness. He smiled at “Patricia” and she flashed a smile back.
It was history.
The funny part of this story is that when my Dad took my Mom on their first date, he literally told my Mom he was only 22…three years older than her. And we didn’t find out till YEARS later ( I was 10!) that he was really was 4 years older than we all thought. We all thought he was pulling some kind of crazy joke. He looked so young…ridiculously young. He had to show us his birth certificate to prove it! My Mom was furious of course…at first but now we all think it’s hysterical that he got away with that for so long!
The cool thing about my parents is that they didn’t come from great backgrounds. They came from broken families. I’m so thankful that my Mom and Dad decided their lives didn’t have to be that way. They decided they would be different and their family would be different and filled with love. Yes, they make mistakes(my Dad lied about his age for years!) but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. If you come from a broken family or don’t have good parents…you can lead a different path. You can be an awesome Father or Mother.