They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To
|In high school, Papa Bear and I always rocked out!|
There are a many things that make my dad super amazing. For example, every year for the past 17 years he has played Santa Claus for the local elementary school. He also produces concerts in our small town, hosting young musicians, Irish bands, budding young singers, and more. He raises bees. He is a spectacular grandpa. He recently learned how to play the mandolin. And, he makes the best darn goat milk fudge anyone has ever had.
However, what makes my dad (I call him Papa Bear) the best dad is that he truly lives the saying, "When the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin." When I was much younger, living back home on the farm, our family found ourselves in a tough situation. Due to a lot of random circumstances, my parents found themselves without jobs, with 4 kids, living in a trailer on 32 acres in the middle of nowhere. With lots of hungry mouths to feed, I can't imagine the amount of stress this brought my two young parents. However, my dad did what he had to do. I remember building picnic tables and selling them through the local Penny-Saver to help cover costs. He took odd jobs that, with over 18 years of experience in the restaurant industry, he was way over qualified to take. He made us chocolate chip cookies. He always let us have the extra food if there were ever left-overs. My dad, being a Catholic man, read to us from the Book of Job reminding us that things could always be worse. Yes, times were tough, but my dad got goin'.
Last year when I moved to LA, for the 2nd time, my dad took the trip with me. At the Grand Canyon, when our tent leaked, and we could only fit one air mattress inside, he volunteered to sleep on the floor. When I worried that I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with my life and where I wanted to be, he replied, "Meg, I will drive across the country with you as many times as you need to." As a 30-something single lady in the world, I have to say that I'm not quite sure I will ever find someone like my dad. It seems lately that when the goin' gets tough, many of the young men I know run for the hills. This is not to say they are all like that. I happen to know a few dads my age who are rocking the dad role like superstars, just like my dad. However, I have to say...they don't really make em like they used to!
Today, for Father's Day, here are some of my favorite dads from kid's books.
Knuffle Bunny Too: A case of mistaken identity by Mo Willems
|Trixie's daddy, making things happen...|
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
|"Papa got a very long ladder."|
Eric Carle is known for his beautiful artwork and this book is just as impressive. When a little girl sees a big, beautiful full moon in the sky she asks her dad to get it for her. What else would an amazing dad do but grab the biggest ladder he can find and climb on up to the moon. One added bonus to this book is that as the dad grabs the ladder, climbs to the moon, and converses with the moon about coming on down to his daughter, the pages of the book contain flaps that open up to bigger pages so the reader can get the full picture of this dad's dedication. Does the dad succeed? Of course he does! Any good dad would find a way to bring the moon to his daughter!
Tom by Tomie dePaolo
Tomie dePaolo can do no wrong in my mind. I have read dozens of his lovely stories, many coming from stories from his own childhood. I love this authentic, personal touch to his tales. A few years ago I happened upon his book Tom. It is about a special relationship he had with the grandfather he was named after.
|Tom showing Tommy how to "use" a chicken leg|
For many of us, our grandparents are just as important in raising us as our parents are. In this story, Tom is a butcher and Tommy often spends time with him at the shop. One day, his grandfather shows Tommy how you can pull on the tendon of a chicken leg, after it has been chopped off, and it will make the claws curl. (Too gross? As a girl raised on a farm, I have to say this was my favorite part. Who writes this stuff these days?? Nobody!)
|My Grandpa McCullough, challenging my sister|
and me to a seed spitting contest.
Happy Father's Day everyone! Make sure you tell those dads just how amazing they are!
|Papa Bear and I traveling across 'Merica|