Ever since the eve of my wedding, my Dad has been quite a different character. Not an overly emotional person in general, the first time I saw him cry was when he baptized me at age 10. The next time was when his best friend's father, and his mentor, passed away. And then there was the eve of my wedding.
Noah and I got married in Nashville just before our senior year of college, so nearly everybody who attended was from out of town. My parents and Kyle stayed with me in our apartment; Noah stayed in a hotel with his parents. I went to bed as a Single Lady for the last time, my mind racing with thoughts of the past and the future. And that's when I heard it. A trio of sobbing: Kyle, Mom and Dad were all crying their eyes out in the living room.
"Hey guys?" I called out.
[sniffle, snort] "What is it?" Mom replied, bravely.
"I CAN HEAR YOU."
As I said, ever since then, Dad's become a more emotional kind of dude. I try not to aggravate his condition, so I tend toward Occasion Cards that are jokey as opposed to serious. You know, cards that somehow relate birthdays and farts, or gratitude and sarcasm. This Father's Day, though, I decided to go with something a little softer after Noah accused me of emotional coldness when, earlier this month, I gave Dad a birthday card whose principal message was disappointment in his lack of wealth.
As Noah read over it (the card touched eloquently on the joy he's brought to my life), he began chuckling. Then outright laughing.
"What the heck?" I demanded.
"I can't imagine you actually saying these things to your Dad."
I found this to be incredibly unfair. Just because most of what I say to Dad involves his baldness...how at age 52 his former spryness has slowed to the speed of evolution...or unsubtle hints for money and gifts...just because of that doesn't mean I don't still love him and appreciate him.
"Well have you read my inscription yet?" I asked.
"No, not yet," Noah confessed. I gave him a moment. "Oh, okay."
I signed it the only way I know how, from the heart:
Thanks for feeding me regularly. Love, Erin