In celebration of Father’s Day here’s a recent exchange with my own Dad from a couple months ago:
Dad: Robert Plant and Sheryl Crow will be at Columbia, MD on June 12th. Amazing. I almost want to fly over for a couple days to see that concert.
** When he says he “almost” wants to fly over to see the concert, it means that is exactly what he wants to do. I quickly check my calendar before replying – all is clear. **
Me: Oh. Hell. Yes. I love me some Sheryl Crow. Tix available?
Dad: **Sends video of Robert Plant since I didn’t mention him in my enthusiastic reply #daughterfail** You much check this video with Robert Plant. Remember that was Led Zeppelin. He is totally awesome. Tix available – let’s do it. Get tix and I’ll reimburse.
Me: Tix bought – Happy Father’s Day!
Dad: Best Father’s Day gift ever. Thanks! I love this shit.
*** What I hear when he says “I love this shit.” – I love spending time with you and can’t wait to see you! Since he would never outright say that, he shows me with actions – like reaching out to see if we can go to a concert together***
Choosing the Experience
He lives in California, and I live in the DC Metro area – so we have three time zones and a few thousand miles that separate us. He began his journey into parenthood early – so a mere 21 years separate us in age. Probably hard for him when I was younger, but now he’s reaping the rewards of being healthy, young, and eager to spend time with his favorite daughter (it’s a three-way tie for first place, considering I have two sisters). A couple years ago we went to see Peter Frampton, and this Father’s Day we celebrated with Robert Plant. This could have been any concert, musical, or other live event. It could have been ANYTHING and my answer would have been the same. Because he loves concerts and I love to clock some time with my second favorite guy in the universe. When we visit California my time is scarce and I’m scattered spreading my attention to family and extended family that I will see once or twice a year. When he comes out to see me, I get him mostly to myself (I share with Miss and Mr. Moe). So, yes, my answer if at all possible will always be yes to experiences with my dad.
Is it more expensive than the general movie tickets, nursery plants or whatever else I could muster up to give him for yet another Father’s Day? Yes. It’s more expensive for both of us. But, really, when you look back on your life what is it that you’ll regret? I haven’t regretted any of these costly expenditures. On top of our regular family maintenance visits (once or twice a year) the below trips were unexpected investments, yet all of them were priceless and a part of the human condition:
- My Grandpa’s final birthday
- My other Grandpa’s 90th birthday
- My Mom’s 60th birthday (including hippie costumes!)
- My Bonus Mom’s 60th birthday in Santa Cruz
- Both of my Grandma’s 90th birthdays (how lucky am I?)
- Taking some of our nieces to Santa Monica and Catalina island just because
- Surprising my little sister for her baby shower
- My Great Aunt (cancer sucks)
- My Aunt (ALS sucks)
- My Father-in-law’s unexpected medical emergency where he ultimately passed away
Experiences are better than stuff! I won’t remember what anyone got me for Mother’s Day, Christmas, birthdays etc. but, I will treasure each and every time my family chose to spend time with me in a shared experience, whether it is a celebration or a mournful event.
Today, celebrate all the awesome Dads in your life! Happy Father’s Day.